Too many booze signs an eyesore; against state liquor rules

Too many booze signs an eyesore; against state liquor rules »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Mini marts and gas stations plastered with liquor signs are actually breaking state liquor rules.

They stick out like a sore thumb. Colorful, over-sized signs for booze.

It seems like most people have accepted that they just come with the territory at mini marts and gas stations.

However it's actually against State Liquor Control Board rules to have more than 4 signs, or 160 square inches, on display.

I talked with a few people around town who say there's no need for so many signs.

"Beer, wine, alcohol, hard alcohol is inside the store. We don't need my children or everyone else children knowing that by these signs out here that it's easy access for everyone to go," Ron McCoy said.

"You can't find a store that doesn't have beer. Even Safeway has beer nowadays," Martel Mortin said.

From a distance, a location off of South 3rd Street looks like it could be a problem. But, after a closer look you can see there's only four liquor signs. The rest are for soft drinks.

However we did count at least five liquor signs on the property of a mini mart near 9th Avenue.

The owner didn't want to go on camera but tells me store owners feel pressured to put up signs given to them by distributors.

Beer signs might not seem like a big deal, but the Liquor Control Board said they actually put the rule into effect based on the overwhelming number of requests they got from people asking them to limit the size and number of liquor signs.

"When it was brought to us, it was not necessarily an eyesore, it was brought to us as concerns about youth having these signs or being bombarded with signs near schools and all around town," said Liquor Control Board Spokesperson, Brian Smith.

That concern turned into a state-wide rule to prevent as much exposure to minors as possible.

The Liquor Control Board said budget cuts forced them to close their office in Yakima. However they tell us they're still able to visit every licensee that sells spirits. The rule is only two years old so officers are mostly give warnings, but violators face fines up to $500 dollars.