Idaho's Memorial Day liquor law causes confusion in Nampa

Posted at 4:56 PM, May 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-29 19:00:52-04

Did you know it's illegal to serve hard liquor at bars and restaurants in Canyon County on Memorial Day? Well, when Monday came around, there were some customers at two local restaurants who learned of this part of state code.

Nampa Police say a complaint from a competing bar was made on Monday, alleging that two restaurants were breaking the little-known state code. When an officer went to check on the situation, confusion ensued.

Police officials say bar owners, patrons and even police were unsure of exactly what the state code limitations on alcohol were.

Idaho state code 23-927 reads: "No liquor shall be sold, offered for sale, or given away upon any licensed premises, and all liquor not in sealed bottles must be locked in a separate room or cabinet during the following hours: a.  Sunday, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas from 1 o’clock A.M., to 10 o’clock A.M. the following day". 

This would mean hard liquor is not allowed to be sold, but beer and wine are allowed. But, if a bartender or manager of a local restaurant/bar is unaware, what then? It could end up being a misdemeanor.

The code allows for counties to change the rule, but it would take a legislative measure in city or county code to do so. 

So, next time you're ordering a stiff drink on a Memorial or Thanksgiving Day, check your county boundaries and make sure you're in a place which allows it.