This Bud's NOT For You

Giving away alcohol in bars and restaurants is illegal in Illinois and Indiana

By Jennifer Schwarz
|  Wednesday, Sep 29, 2010  |  Updated 11:39 AM CDT
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Parties of the Year?! An Underground Summer

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NEW YORK - JUNE 13: A bottle of Budweiser is displayed at a bar June13, 2008 in New York City. The Belgian-Brazilian brewer InBev has made an offer of $46.3 billion bid for Anheuser-Busch, the iconic 150-year-old St Louis-based company. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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Anheuser Busch is serving up free Budweiser beer across the country today. It’s part of their “National Happy Hour” promotion, hoping to lure beer drinkers back to their flagship brand.

But free beer won’t fly in Illinois.

“We have some serious problems with A-B’s promotion,” said Sue Hofer, spokeswoman for the Illinois Liquor Control Commission to the nwtimes.com.  

The "happy hour" promotion violates several Illinois liquor laws. It's illegal to give away free alcohol in bars and restaurants; and it's also against the law to advertise free liquor.  

The state statute does allow for companies to give away up to three free samples, but they must be limited to two ounces each -- and who wants shots of Budweiser?.   

Indiana drinkers won't fare much better. Their laws also prohibits alcohol giveaways in bars and restaurants.  Facilities in violation could be declared a public nuisance and be shut down for up to a year.  

Illinois officials have contacted Anheuser-Busch to discuss the company’s plans, but have not heard a response.   

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