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Bill to regulate Baltimore bar crawls passes in the House

A bill to regulate Baltimore's bar crawls has passed unanimously in the House of Delegates.
A bill to regulate Baltimore's bar crawls has passed unanimously in the House of Delegates.(Colby Ware)

A bill to regulate bar crawls in Baltimore is one step closer to becoming law after passing unanimously in the House of Delegates.

The legislation, sponsored by Del. Peter Hammen, would require a pub crawl organizer to apply for a permit at least 42 days before the event, obtain a special event permit from the Department of Transportation and pay $300 in application and permit fees. Each participating bar would also have to pay $100.

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The Baltimore Board of Liquor License Commissioners would oversee the permitting process.

The bill's passage in the House (138-0) comes after St. Paddy's Day bar crawls — some of Baltimore's largest pub crawls — began last weekend in Canton. More are scheduled for this weekend in both Canton and Federal Hill.

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Legislators are aiming to gain control over events like the Irish Strolls, which attract thousands of bar patrons for drink specials. As it's written now, the legislation would apply to any bar crawl that involves three or more bars where discounts are given during an event, which could include small, private crawls.

Sen. Bill Ferguson, who sponsored the legislation in the Senate, has previously said small events are not the target of the bill.

The legislation still has to pass in the Senate. If it becomes law, the measure would take effect July 1.

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