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Archive for Friday, April 6, 2001

Keg registration fizzles

April 6, 2001

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A bill requiring registration of beer kegs derailed in late March in a House committee whose chairman predicted it would not be discussed again this year.

Already approved by the Senate, the measure was tabled on a voice vote of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee as members said it was not yet ready for debate.

"This bill needs more work than the time we have," said Rep. Rick Rehorn, D-Kansas City. "To be fair, we should give it more consideration."

The decision to table the bill postponing a vote indefinitely means two-thirds of the committee must vote to bring it up again for consideration. Chairman Doug Mays, R-Topeka, said that was unlikely.

The bill would require retailers to record a purchaser's name and address before issuing a tagged keg, making it easier for police to track a keg back to its buyer and to apprehend adults who provide alcohol to minors.

Neal Whitaker, spokesman for the Beer Wholesalers Association and opponent of the bill, said the measure would infringe on individual rights.

Barnett disagreed that privacy was at stake.

He said, "Only law enforcement agencies can have access to this."

Rep. John Edmonds, R-Great Bend, said he did not think the keg registration bill was a bad idea, but he doubted its effectiveness.

"This will end up being useless," he said. "What will happen is we'll sell more beers in cans than kegs."

Bob Longino, director of the state's Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, said the bill was intended to deter underage drinking, not to completely end it.

"This bill gives us enforcement teeth and preventive teeth," he said.

"It enables us to track down the sale of a keg if there is reasonable suspicion."

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