Massachusetts

Poll: 70% of Mass. Residents Want Happy Hour Back

State Rep. Mike Connolly filed a bill to revisit the ban on discounted after-work drinks, but the effort has fallen flat on Beacon Hill in the past

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The vast majority of Massachusetts residents want to bring happy hour back, a new poll shows.

MassINC Polling Group found that about 70% of people support or strongly support bringing back happy hour in Massachusetts, while only 20% of people were against it.

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The numbers were pretty similar across the board. Republicans were slightly more likely to support happy hour, while Democrats and men were a little more supportive than women.

A new poll shows a majority of Massachusetts residents support bringing back happy hour. Mothers Against Drunk Driving won't stand in the way, but Gov. Charlie Baker said he would be hard-pressed to support changing the law. The TEN takes a look at why the hour of discounted drinks was banned in the Bay State and the uphill battle its proponents face.

People in their late teens and 20s also wanted happy hour more than older people, but by and large, those numbers stayed about the same regardless of politics, gender or age.

That could be because the ban has only been in effect for a few decades now.

Massachusetts was one of the first states in the country to ban happy hours outright back in 1984 after a 20-year-old woman was killed in a drunk driving accident. Rhode Island and Vermont have bans of their own.

MassINC Polling Group found that about 70% of people support or strongly support bringing back happy hour in Massachusetts, while only 20% oppose.

Some businesses told the Boston Herald that happy hour could provide a needed boost to bounce back from the pandemic.

State Rep. Mike Connolly filed a bill to revisit the ban on discounted after-work drinks, but the effort has fallen flat on Beacon Hill in the past.

Asked about the proposal on Thursday, Gov. Charlie Baker didn't sound like it's a bill he would sign.

"You know, I remember what was going on on the roads in Massachusetts when we had happy hours, and there were some awful, horrible, terrible experiences on a very regular basis that came with happy hours back in the day," he said. "I know that probably makes me a stick in the mud to say such a thing, but... I would start as a skeptic of going back to the way we ran happy hours once upon a time, and I know the folks at Mothers Against Drunk Driving would be with me on that one."

Baker said the law banning happy hours came about because of a series of tragedies involving both young and older people in some terrible highway accidents that tracked back to people being over served as a result of happy hours at a variety of places.

"I get the fact that for most people they're probably just an opportunity to enjoy, spend time and enjoy it with friends, but the deadlock came about as a result of some really awful things that happened over a sustained period of time," he said. "I'd be hard pressed to support changing it."

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