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Teetotaler or no? What you may not know about state senators’ drinking habits

Post by Melissa Santos / The Olympian on April 12, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
April 16, 2013 5:36 pm

78457398State senators went into an unusual amount of detail about their alcohol habits Friday morning as they debated a measure that would allow theaters to serve beer and wine.

Sen. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, said on the Senate floor that her opposition to the theater liquor bill and similar proposals has caused some to ask if she is a “teetotaler.”

“I proudly say I do drink,” Darneille said. “I’m not a teetotaler. But I do drink in moderation and you don’t see me driving afterwards.”

Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, was the next to chime in, speaking against the bill.

“I am a teetotaler,” Hargrove said. ”We had alcoholism in my family and 35 years ago I decided to quit, absolutely quit. It was a behavioral choice.”

“The nutty things I do around here when I’m stone sober, you can imagine what I’d do if I was drinking,” Hargrove added.

Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane, said, “Personally, I’m almost in the same boat as Sen. Hargrove when it comes to my personal view of alcohol.”

But Baumgartner still supports the bill to serve alcohol in theaters, he said. While he may not support European philosophies on taxation and other social issues, Baumgartner said he does think the countries across the pond have it right when it comes to how they broach alcohol consumption: in a relaxed family setting.

“I view this as a step towards … kind of moving our culture toward becoming comfortable with these issues and managing it better,” Baumgartner said.

House Bill 1001 passed the Senate 27-21.

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