New bill to crackdown on underage drinking

Published 09/16 2013 04:52PM

Updated 09/16 2013 07:21PM

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV)--Underage drinkers could face harsher penalties under a proposed bill.

Underage customers account for nearly 18-percent of total alcohol sales in Wisconsin—that’s according to the Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center of Wisconsin, but a Senator from Fond du Lac hopes to change that.

Sen. Rick Gudex, R-Fond du Lac, said
“These are honest businesses that are trying to do an honest day’s work.  And they’re constantly under attack by people illegally buying alcohol at their establishments.”

The “Brown Jug bill” would allow tavern and store owners to take underage drinkers to court and fine them up to $1000. 

But some bar owners tell us it’s often hard to identify a fake I.D.

Jess Miller, owner of The Bar in Green Bay, said, “Fake ID’s are very tough to catch now.  They’re available all over the place, online and they are very difficult to detect.”

At The Bar, they have a scanning system that costs close to $10,000 to detect if I.D.’s are fake.

Outagamie County Tavern League President, Brad Schinke, thinks the bill would help taverns.

“It would finally give us recourse to go after the people who are actually breaking the law.  We’ve never had that before; the onus has always been on us,” he told Local 5 News.

But not everyone agrees this bill would help.

Executive Director Andrea Kaminski “What this bill does is totally takes the responsibility away from the people who serve kids alcoholic beverages.”

The bill would have to pass the State Assembly before being voted on in the State Senate.


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