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Happy hours return to Indiana beginning July 1 after governor signs bill lifting decades-old ban

Gov. Eric Holcomb said “happy days are here again” as of July 1, when Indiana establishments can offer happy hours for the first time in decades.

Holcomb signed HEA 1086 into law Thursday.

Indiana law had banned happy hours since 1985, in a bid to help reduce drunk driving.

As he signed the bill lifting that ban into law at a local Indianapolis bar, Holcomb said the measure “empowers” businesses to serve responsibly.

“And that’s what they do here at the Whistle Stop Inn and all over the state of Indiana,” Holcomb said. “And so, this is in response to not only their concerns and advocacy, but also to the consumer.”

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The bill does maintain some restrictions. Beginning July 1, bars and restaurants can offer reduced prices for drinks for no more than four hours a day and 15 hours in a week. And those happy hours can’t be between 9 p.m and 3 a.m.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.