Michigan Liquor Law Changes Don't Please All


State regulators unveiled 72 recommendations Friday intended to increase the size of Michigan’s licensed beverage industry, but not all alcoholic beverage producers liked the results.

The Michigan Wine Producers Association said the suggested changes would make the regulation of Michigan wineries more business-friendly. Association President Mike Beck said his members welcome any recommendations “that sensibly support the responsible growth of the wine industry.”

However, Bell’s Brewery founder and CEO Larry Bell said Friday’s report, which the state Office of Regulatory Reinvention sent to Gov. Rick Snyder, didn’t represent the unanimous position of craft brewers — with Bell’s being among the largest in Michigan.

“This report raises serious concerns and deserves close study by policymakers before they make any changes that inadvertently hurt Michigan businesses and endanger public health and safety,” Bell added.

Among the biggest recommendations is to change the state law that makes it a crime to serve or sell alcohol to someone who’s intoxicated. The report suggests that the crime should be harder to prosecute, with the law’s language changed to say someone would have to “knowingly allow” an intoxicated person to be served rather than simply “allow.”

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