Editor's column:The sober truth Featured

9:36am EDT July 22, 2002

How can state liquor officials be so naive? Do they really think imposing a five-day waiting period and requiring special forms to be filled out when five or more kegs of beer are purchased will stop underage and irresponsible drinking?

They must. They unveiled the new five-keg rule with great fanfare this summer. Apparently they didn't notice everyone scoffing.

Lt. Gov. Maureen O'Connor, who added her blessing to the new rule, says the intent is to "allow law enforcement agencies to monitor areas where multi-keg parties are going to be held." I can almost guarantee this rule change will not have the intended effect.

College students aren't that dumb. If they want to have a 20-keg party, they're going to have it -- and they're not going to tip their hand. They'll simply send five guys to buy four kegs apiece. How hard is that? And why can't state officials see that inherent flaw in this new policy?

All this rule change will do is run up the cost of government. Special forms now need to be designed, printed and distributed throughout Ohio to any business that sells keg beer. That won't be cheap.

In addition, someone at the Ohio Department of Public Safety is going to have to review these forms -- if, in fact, any of them actually get filled out -- and, presumably, alert the appropriate authorities so they can monitor areas where mass quantities of beer are expected to be consumed.

Where will the funding come from for these new staff positions? What a waste. That money certainly could be better spent elsewhere.

Can't we stop wasting money on worthless policies like this and try tackling the tough issues for a change? Funny how we can't figure out how to adequately and equitably fund our public schools but we can pony up the cash for ridiculous new rules like this.

As business owners and managers, we can have a powerful voice in government. Let's capitalize on that and tell our public officials to start doing something to make Ohio a better place to live and work.

A vain attempt to curb keg parties isn't accomplishing that. Nancy Byron (nbyron@sbnnet.com) is editor of SBN Columbus.