The days of nightclubs hosting “18 to party, 21 to drink” events may soon come to an end in Atlanta.
The Atlanta City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Monday prohibiting anyone younger than 21 from entering or working at businesses where alcohol is consumed. It should go into effect next week.
Councilwoman Cleta Winslow, who wrote the ordinance, said she is troubled by the city’s law that allowed 18-year-olds to work in businesses where people are drinking. It does not affect restaurants where alcohol is served, nor supermarkets or convenience stores.
Winslow worries about teenagers drinking in strip clubs or bars and endangering themselves.
“Since a person under 21 can’t drink in a nightclub, they should not be in these establishments,” said Winslow, chairwoman of the council’s public safety committee.
How utterly retarded. Underage drinking is already illegal. If the laws aren’t being enforced, start enforcing them. If the laws can’t be enforced, then explain to me how this new law is any more enforceable.
First, there are reasons to go to some bars even if you can’t drink: entertainment. People 18-20 are now going to be shut out of the live music scene. Since live music often caters to the younger set, that’s not an insignificant demographic. I once went to a local wrestling event at a bar, too. If there’s an exception for bars that display entertainment, the article doesn’t say.
Even if there is such an exception, it makes life more difficult for barely-of-age patrons. A lot of bars are already 21-and-over, but some aren’t precisely because they know that people that are 21 or 22 have friends that are 19 or 20. The underage can have a coke while his friends drink beer. Bars face enough competition with coffeehouses as a third-place venue and this makes it worse. This also encourages more drinking in apartments and dorm rooms, which is entirely unregulated and much, much more likely to result in severe drinking and the alcohol poisoning that comes with it. At least in a bar you’re limited by the underage drinking laws, public intoxication laws, and a high price-tag.
On top of that, people that are 18-20 make great designated drivers and keep drunk drivers off the street. Kyle did his job keeping us drunkards taken care of and in return we paid cover and bought him cokes. It was a win for Kyle, a win for us, and a win for the late-night drivers of Colosse.
I might be able to understand if they were concerned about underage people serving a product that they cannot consume, but (1) there are better ways to do that and (2) this doesn’t even take care of that. Eighteen year olds will still be serving alcohol as waiters in restaurants and 16 year olds will be doing the same at grocery store check-outs.
So what problem does this solve? What does this little piece of legislation do other than give the appearance of tackling a problem while not only failing to do so but actually making it worse in some cases? Oh… “appearance of tackling a problem”… I guess I answered my own question there.