With a few strokes of a pen, it became official: On a 115-degree day, partygoers in Arizona parks can exchange a refreshing cold beer for a steaming plastic cup of merlot.
Governor Jan Brewer Friday signed House Bill 2441, which clarifies crucial language in a statute that affects office party-planning committees across the state.
Current law states that during events where groups have recieved a permit to drink alcohol in public places like parks or fairgrounds, they can only drink beer -- but wine is not specifically included in the permit language.
Well, things have gone in favor of the grape and wine is now a mentioned in the new language as a right of permitted public partiers from Tucson to Flagstaff.
Glendale City Councilwoman Yvonne Knaack, who brought the problem to the attention of the state Legislature back in February, told members of the House Commerce Committee that excluding wine from parties hurt fundraising efforts of charities she works with.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
"Well, as you all know, times have changed," she told the committee, "wine is popular."
Indeed, wine is popular. So popular, in fact, that since February, the Legislature had to discuss this bogus bill five times before sending it to the governor.
As if to keep the party rolling, Governor Jan and the Brew Crew also signed Senate Bill 1266, which makes it illegal for employers to withhold workers compensation money for employees hurt on the job while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
So here's how it breaks down: As of Friday, it's legal to go to one of Yvonne Knaack's ragers in the park, fill up on a warm box of Chiraz, then go to work, fall down a flight of stairs, and collect government-mandated payments from your boss for your broken ankle and time off.