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Self-serve alcohol? Connecticut lawmakers consider law once again

The concept: Put in your credit card, get beer or wine.
Credit: FOX61

HARTFORD – For at least the fourth year in a row, Connecticut legislators are considering a measure that would allow bars and restaurants install self-serve alcohol machines.

Senate Bill 254 was introduced by the General Law Committee. The bill would legalize certain liquor permit-holders to use “a self-pour automated system that, 4 upon activation of a payment card by the permittee, may be operated to 5 dispense beer, cider” and wine. The beer would need to be six percent alcohol by volume or lower, according to the bill.

The current legislation sets the dispense cap for beer at 32 ounces and 10 ounces for wine.

Similar measures have passed the House and Senate separately but have never made it all the way to law.

A group of businessmen behind Chillproof LLC hope to become Connecticut’s first “self-pour technology establishment.” Sak Seedasome, Connor Rasmussen and Matt Ventura submitted testimony in support of the bill. The trio call SB 254 “pro-jobs, pro-local investment, pro-economic competitiveness, pro-public safety legislation.” If passed, Connecticut would join 45 states that allow self-serve alcohol technology, according to Chillproof.

From Chillproof:

"Here's how self-pour technology works: upon arrival at an establishment, a 21 years-of-age-or-older consumer will check in with a host or hostess and open a tab. Then, the patron will get a Radio-frequency identification (RFID) bracelet or card, and only by tapping it on an iPad-style screen behind each tap, the consumer will access their account and thereby allow the system to monitor their pour. The consumer can draw precisely the amount they want — a full glass, just a sip, or a flight, up to sixteen ounces — and charged by the ounce. If a patron is confused by the proper way to draw a tap, there's a screen carefully explaining how to use it properly. Also, even though the consumer is controlling the pour, they're not on their own. Tasting notes appear on each screen for those who like to educate themselves; those who would rather talk their way through a solution can ask well-versed staffers."

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