The Capitol Record

Legislators consider ‘sip and spit’ law for state’s viticulture students

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Lawmakers are considering a piece of legislation that would allow some Washington students to take a sip of wine – as long as they don’t gulp it down.

House Bill 1459, sponsored by Rep. Larry Haler (R-Richland), would allow college students between 18 and 21 years old and enrolled in a viticulture or enology program to sample alcoholic drinks, but not ingest them.

Other restrictions would apply, including tasting the alcoholic drinks only during class time and under the supervision of an instructor who is at least 21 years old.

Washington State University currently offers a viticulture and enology degree for students interested in wine-grape growing and wine making at their Pullman and Tri-Cities campuses.

Similar bills, often labeled academic “Sip and Spit” laws, have passed a handful of states, including Illinois, Colorado and Rhode Island.

The bill will receive a hearing in the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee next week.

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