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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Down To Earth

Spokane Party Trolley vs Liquor Control Board

By now, I'm sure you've seen the Spokane Party Trolley. This 16-person bike is available to rent for people that want to hop around town, offering a safe, eco-friendly alternative. It's also really fun. According to KREM, owner Nina Kindem said when she opened the business last month, she thought she just needed a limousine license and a sober driver. Plus, a banquet license for passengers to drink on board. Not so much anymore- no more open containers are allowed. 



“Because this is an undefined business that has not been done anywhere in Spokane before, it makes it difficult for them to know where to direct me,” Kindem told KREM.

There was more on the Spokane Party Trolley Facebook Page: The State Liquor board has found an ideal loop hole for not allowing alcohol on board the trolley. Because all of the passengers are pedaling, they are considered operators of the vehicle which means they can be cited for open bottle while operating a vehicle. The short answer is that they don't see any way at all this can be resolved with current law, so go try to change it. The last laugh is that we will still have fun and they probably won't:)

Nice. A bit of history: The concept originated in Amsterdam in the late 1990s and has been spreading throughout Europe and the United States. The “beer bikes” go by Cycle Pub in Bend, Ore., and Boise; Party Pedaler in Charlotte, N.C.; and PedalPub in Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul. (PedalPub has faced license issues too.)

For the Spokane Party Trolley and the other "beer bikes," no alcohol is allowed unless everyone is 21 or older; even then, hard liquor is prohibited. Just like renting a limousine, I was under the impression it is legal to drink on the trolley itself - you obviously can't step off the trolley with a beer in hand, otherwise you're violating open container law. You can't be overserved. It's worked so far. Um, am I turning into Ron Swanson

Down To Earth

The DTE blog is committed to reporting and sharing environmental news and sustainability information from across the Inland Northwest.