A key vote by the Dutchess County Legislature could pave the way for extended liquor store hours in one of the most restrictive counties in the state.

The successful bipartisan vote on a liquor store hour extension in Dutchess County sends the request to the County Executive for his signature and then to the State Liquor Authority for review and implementation.

The current law in Dutchess County, which is the most restrictive in the state, only allows liquor and wine sales from 9 a.m. through 7 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays, and Noon to 9 p.m. on Sundays.

When authorized by the state, weekday and Saturday sales can be extended by two hours, until 9 pm at the retailer’s discretion.

Holiday sales will be the same as weekday hours, 9 am to 9 pm. Under the current law, holiday hours of sale are restricted to one hour, from 9 am to 10 am on New Year's, Thanksgiving, Memorial, Independence and Labor Day.

Hundreds of Dutchess County residents sent emails and Facebook messages to legislators in support of the resolution.

Nothing in the new legislation prevents individual stores from closing before the new 9 p.m. requirement. There were some merchants who opposed the new legislation, but many more spoke in favor of it.

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