Tacoma bans fortified alcohol

Tacoma is poised to become the first city in Washington state where fortified alcohol is banned in what police term “alcohol-impact areas.”

Beginning in March, downtown Tacoma will be a designated such an area, which means it has a problem with people drinking and passing out on the streets.

The state Liquor Control Board has granted Tacoma’s request to prohibit the sale of fortified beer and wine throughout the Hilltop, downtown and North End neighborhoods.

City officials and residents who support the ban hope that if people do not have access to cheap, potent beer and wine, problems such as aggressive panhandling and assaults will improve.