Va Officials Relax Restrictions on Happy Hour Ads

By: Virginia AP
By: Virginia AP

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Virginia officials are changing the way bars and restaurants in the state can advertise happy hour specials.

The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control had prohibited happy hour ads, except inside a restaurant, for fear of encouraging overdrinking.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that now businesses can advertise happy hour in outlets such as radio, newspapers and Facebook. Businesses are permitted to advertise the time frame for happy hour.

They can use the phrases "happy hour" and "drink specials" but can't use the word "discounted" or name specific drinks or list most prices.

ABC officials say the department made changes after it reviewed its rules and spoke with business owners. The prohibition on advertising prices was retained so as to not start price wars between retailers. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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