30 June 2004
And where's the National Lager Association?
Last year, Missouri enacted a number of booze-related laws, and one of them kicks in tomorrow: keg registration.
Retailers will now have to tag each keg containing four gallons of more and keep a record of the purchaser, including name, address, and date of birth, for a minimum of 90 days. (Ripping off the tag means you lose your deposit.)
This is nothing particularly new in the Show-Me state: the city of Springfield has had a similar provision for three years. I doubt seriously, though, that anyone can show that it's had any measurable effect on underage drinking, the ostensible purpose of the law. David Overfelt of the Missouri Retailers Association sees it the same way: he considers it "a feel-good thing for the anti-alcohol groups."
Meanwhile, a couple of states away in Colorado, Republican Senate candidate Peter Coors continues to argue that 21 is unworkable as a minimum drinking age in the first place, a notion which, when floated, immediately brought out the big guns of the Nanny State.
My own policy on drink is similar to that of Mark Twain: when others are drinking I like to help, otherwise I remain dry. And I continue to believe, as I did when I was eighteen and hoisting a few, that any age limit set by the government is arbitrary by definition.
(Muchas gracias: Brock Sides.)