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Keg Reg to lower underage drinking

Posted Oct 23 2008 1:35pm
“Underage drinking cannot be successfully addressed by focusing on youth alone.” You must “create and sustain a broad societal commitment to reduce underage drinking”. “The nation must collectively pursue opportunities to reduce the availability of alcohol to underage drinkers, the occasions for underage drinking, and the demand for alcohol among young people.”

We discussed keg registration (at the Illinois Coalition meeting referenced above) as a strategy to decrease underage drinking. This is a good strategy because it ties the purchaser to a keg when “trouble” arises, whether that trouble is just catching the underage drinkers or if some other incident occurs tied to the drinking (e.g. crash, sexual assault, other injury). This has been demonstrated to decrease the incidence of keggers for “kids”. It is a strategy that is very helpful for law enforcement.

Laws like this do tend to push the drinkers to bars, but it is much easier to monitor/control access there than at a kegger somewhere. Also, another “work around” is to purchase beer in cases, etc, but there is less of an impetus to finish the case of beer than the keg of beer (“it will only go bad after it is tapped”). Over-drinking is a less likely to occur with cases than a keg.

Our discussion now centers on how to implement such a plan. A state law was tried in the past and never got out of committee. Should we try it again, now that times are different and, perhaps, with a legislator with a bit more clout? Or, as is being done with “smoke-free” efforts, should we push multiple local ordinances until we reach a “critical mass” and then go for the state legislation. [Politics are in everything and politics are a “game”.]

But something has to be done. We can’t wait for another kid to die.
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