Restaurants that sell alcohol, and other places that offer state liquor licenses and live entertainment, received the gift of a speaker from Pennsylvania this week.
Governor Tom Wolfe has signed a bill allowing liquor license holders in all counties except Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to use speakers to amplify music and entertainment.
The caveat is that offsite noise cannot exceed 75 decibels. This is about the same as the noise level produced by a typical vacuum cleaner.
Previously, the state liquor law only gave wineries permission for amps.
Proponents said the law kept eating outdoors and became a major attraction during COVID-19 restrictions, but could not prevent municipalities from issuing nuisance violations against noise.
Not everyone participated. The bill unanimously passed the Senate late last week, but 14 representatives of the House voted “no.”
Republican Rep. Mark Gillen of Loebson Township has generated a number of complaints comparing it to the 2017 Fireworks Sales Expansion Act.
“I could see it causing quality of life problems in the community,” Gillen said of the new law.
He said the use of the amp should end Sunday to Thursday night at 9 pm, and Friday and Saturday night at midnight.
“So are they going to go in the middle of the night? The last 9-year-old daughter I checked was in bed for three hours at that time,” Gillen said.
Democratic Senator Lisa Boscola of Northampton County said she would boost alcohol sales and live entertainment in restaurants and elsewhere.
“They are still recovering from the pandemic and haven’t returned to where they should be,” she said.
The law came into effect immediately on Monday with Wolf’s signature.
Outdoor dining boost
Lauren Brynjack, senior government director at the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodges Association, said it was timely as the outdoor dining season was in full swing.
According to the law, liquor license holders other than Philadelphia or Pittsburgh will use loudspeakers as long as “the sound of music or other entertainment, or its promotion, does not exceed the licensee’s premises boundaries and exceeds 75 decibels.” You can use it.
Earlier, Brinjac said license holders would violate the liquor law “if they could listen to music beyond their ownership.”
Chuck Moran, Managing Director of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverages Association, called this a fair renewal of outdated liquor law.
“It certainly encourages the use of outdoor dining with low-level sounds like acoustic music, and I’m confident that it will benefit patrons, musicians and licensed facilities,” Moran said. Told.
The bill sent to Wolf’s desk was drafted by Bedford County Republican Jesse Topper, but the speaker’s language originally came from York County Republican Senator Kristin Phillips Hill.
Information on the Yale University Environmental Health and Safety web page states that vacuum cleaners produce about 75 decibels.
The state police’s liquor control enforcement is responsible for enforcing the new law.
David Sanko, Managing Director of the Pennsylvania Township Supervisors Association, said the new law clearly does not replace local noise regulations. According to him, one of the practical effects could be to remove some of the burden of executing noise violations from the local police and transfer it to the state police.
In another part of the law, beer produced by out-of-state manufacturers under contracts with state entities must be distributed through a three-tier system in Pennsylvania that includes producers, distributors and retailers. There is.
The loophole has allowed major out-of-state brewers to set up small breweries in Pennsylvania and take advantage of the exemptions granted to Pennsylvania breweries, Topper said. These exemptions allow you to bypass the 3-tier system and sell directly to consumers.
“They set up a brewing pub in the state and turned the system into a game,” Topper said. “I’m not going to allow it in the future.”
Pa.Allows bars and restaurants to use speakers
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