With a 6-4 vote Wednesday, the commission opted against asking the local delegation to the state legislature to pursue two proposals that could dramatically curb the number of underage people who get into bars and clubs and manage to order a drink.
First, though, some credit where credit is due with regard to the commission’s stance on underage drinking. Commissioners did decide Wednesday to ask legislators to pursue a new law that would establish a penalty for using fake identification. They also asked legislators to pursue an initiative to have birth dates placed within electronic bar codes on drivers’ licenses, making it harder for that identification to be faked.
What a slim majority of commissioners couldn’t find the political will to do, though, was to ask for a state law making door personnel at bars and clubs subject to legal sanctions for giving an underage person access to alcohol. Nor could the commission bring itself to ask for a law setting penalties for bar employees who knowingly serve alcohol to underage drinkers. Commissioners Harry Sims, Tom Chasteen, Charles Carter and Kathy Hoard were the minority voice in the failed effort to forward these requests on to the legislative delegation.
I think if you can go to war or vote, you ought to be able to have a beer. Of course I’m from Louisiana and when I was 18, so was the drinking age.