Is The Threat Of A $1,000 Fine Enough To Scare Underage Kids From Boozing At Bars?

Underage drinkers in Wisconsin could be paying for their boozing with more than just a visit to the porcelain shrine of hangovers: The state has introduced a so-called “Brown Jug bill” that would allow bar owners or other booze proprietors to take youngsters under 21 to court if they knowingly purchased alcohol.

“What, that wasn’t a virgin daiquiri?” may or may not work in the underage drinkers’ defense, but if they’re found guilty of buying alcoholic beverages they’d have to (or more likely, their long-suffering parents would have to) pay a $1,000 fine to the business, reports The Capital Times.

The bill is named for an Alaskan bar that was the first to have a similar law passed, and is designed to stymie the efforts of underage drinkers who now have technology on their side and are churning out fake IDs like they never could before. That flood of fakes means businesses often have to hire more staff to check for frauds, says the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Rick Gudex.

“I think this is a good way to ward off society’s problem with alcohol,” Gudex said. “We are trying to put up some road blocks so they think twice before they do this.”

But the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin said there are already enough fines in place for violating state law, and businesses don’t need their own cut.

“There are already substantial penalties in place for underage drinking,” read the statement. “It is the responsibility of a licensed establishment selling a regulated substance to make sure of ages in their sales. If they are unable to do so, the license should be withdrawn.”

‘Brown Jug’ bill would levy additional $1,000 fine against Wisconsin underage drinkers [The Capital Times]