liquor laws

Steve Helber / AP Photo

Grocery store owners who are losing liquor to shoplifters could pay a hefty price. Under a new law that takes effect June 13, the state can take away the store's license to sell liquor.

The crack down is aimed at keeping liquor out of the hands of underage drinkers.

By state law, bars in Washington have to stop serving alcohol at 2 a.m. And when bars close down, people who’ve been drinking hit the streets all at once. In Seattle last weekend, that phenomenon became extreme in the Belltown neighborhood, reviving a public policy debate.

Following objections from other cities, Seattle will have to wait a month to know if its efforts to extend bar hours beyond 2 a.m. can go forward.

Seattle officials have wanted to make last call later, arguing that law enforcement is burdened by a mass of drunks tumbling out of night clubs and bars.