DeWine Says State Can't Exempt Cincinnati's Bars From Alcohol Curfew

Sep 7, 2020

Cincinnati’s mayor and police chief have asked Gov. Mike DeWine to lift the prohibition on alcohol sales after 10pm from their bars, saying that ban is contributing to violence. That rule was put in place statewide to help contain the coronavirus, which experts say has been spreading in places where bars are open.

The letter from Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley says the alcohol curfew in place since July 31 is forcing people into after-hours gatherings where there have been shootings, includes a weekend last month when Ohio public radio station WVXU reported 18 shootings were logged one Sunday morning. So Cranley said he wants the chance to "try something different".

In an interview for "The State of Ohio", DeWine said he checked into it.

“Our lawyers tell us that we can't do that. We can't just carve out the city of Cincinnati and say the bars are going to be open there full time. But every place else, they're going to be closed at 10 o'clock."

Dozens of bars have been cited for violating the alcohol curfew since it took effect July 31. Four bars were cited in the first weekend alone.

DeWine said not only can the state not exempt the bars in just one city, but the Democratic mayors of Dayton and Columbus have told him they don’t want the ban on alcohol sales after 10pm to change.  '

Cranley, also a Democrat, is exploring a possible run for governor in 2022, and could face the Republican DeWine if he runs for re-election.