CT House votes to allow self-service booze at bars

Self-service alcohol machines may soon be coming to a Connecticut bar near you.



The state House of Representatives almost unanimously approved legislation Wednesday allowing businesses with state liquor permits to offer automated machines that dispense beer and wine to customers.



Under the proposal, a person verified to be at least 21 years old can purchase a payment card and then obtain up to 32 ounces of beer or 10 ounces of wine. The alcoholic beverage would be dispensed in single-serve, 12-ounce glasses. Restaurants could do self-serve beer and wine, but no hard liquor.



There are protections built into the system.



"A patron must present a government ID to an employee of the permitted to verify that they are 21 years of age or older," says state Rep. David Arconti. "The patron will then be given a unique RFID device in the form of a card or a bracelet."



Proponents say the machines are novelty items, allowing customers to sample different flavors in small amounts before making a final purchase.



Lawmakers against it say there's nothing stopping a person from buying the payment card and giving it to a minor.



The bill now awaits action in the Senate.



The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.


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