Brown & Little, P.L.C. » Arizona Statutes, DUI » A Turd In The Punch Bowl

A Turd In The Punch Bowl

The times they are a-changing. Arizona now allows bars and retailers to fill growlers of beer from their taps for customers to take home. To-go tap beer is a great idea with all kinds of great benefits. Most notably, it’s cheaper and far safer than continuing to drink at a bar. How many people over the past several years had that extra round before driving home because they didn’t have anything to enjoy when they got back? There aren’t an awful lot of bars that double as retailers. The new law allows people to try great products they wouldn’t otherwise get to try in the comfort of their own homes.

A recent article in the Arizona Capitol Times discussed the new law and its many benefits. Sales are up for bars and stores that sell beer. At least one local brewer has seen an increase in bars and stores buying their beers. Local artisans thrive as their delicious creations find a broader market, the middlemen who sell quality microbrews see an uptick in business, and consumers get better variety and more options. It would be a beautiful thing if there wasn’t always someone waiting to drop a big ol’ turd in the punch bowl.

That turd in Arizona’s happier, safer, lucrative little punch bowl is Jessica Smith, supposed “coordinator” of some organization called the “Arizona Chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions,” or “SADD.” From the article cited above:

Jessica Smith, coordinator of the Arizona Chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions, said her organization opposes the law in part because growlers may not be clearly labeled with a beer’s alcohol level. That could increase cases of driving under the influence, she said.

“My first reaction is that we’re becoming more regressive in our laws … that relate to alcohol,” Smith said.

I hope you took in all of that.

A lack of labeling on the growlers might lead to an increase in DUI. Right. People buying a growler of craft beer are going to leave the bar and go someplace else to drink the dangerous unlabeled witches’ brew before drunk driving home. They’re all going to fancy restaurants where they’ll pay corkage and get rip roaring blasted. They certainly aren’t going home to put the beer in their fridge and stay in for night. They’re probably chugging right out of the growler as they pass your child’s school in their SUVs while texting. Be afraid, very afraid. That’s what Jessica wants, and that’s why everything always comes back to DUI. It’s the official Trojan horse of neo-prohibitionist zealots who like telling other people what to do. In this instance, it makes no sense. Not that that ever stops these people.

According to Jessica, the new law is also a sign we’re becoming “regressive” our alcohol laws. Right. Regressive in that we’re slowly reverting back to those awful days prior to January 17, 1920. Regressive in that were returning to other times when our chains might not have been quite so tight. The word regressive wouldn’t have been such a bad choice if she’d meant the law is regressive in that it’s made a teeny weeny little part of the busybody nanny-state cancer that’s infected us go into regression. Somehow, I doubt that’s what she meant.

Your freedom scares some people. The baby steps we as a people take to enable you to better enjoy the things that make you happy frighten the Jessica Smiths of the world terribly. Every time we take a step forward, there’s a floater in the punch bowl who’d love for us to take twenty steps back. They usually have an organization identified by an acronym behind them.

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3 Responses to "A Turd In The Punch Bowl"

  1. Cory says:

    So her reasons sound really dumb. While I dont drink, I seriously doubt that people would somehow change their drinking habits if they only knew the alcohol content in the beer. However, doesnt it also seem very possible that people will get their “to go” drink and simply drink it in the car on the way home. And your own statement seems to point out that they are driving home. If Im ever at a restaraunt and I get a “to go” cup for my soft drink, I usually drink it on the way home. I dont save it in the fridge for a later date. Now, maybe being a non-drinker I dont understand the benefit of the “to go” beer, maybe people will really take it home to drink later that night or the next day, but isnt it also just as plausible that they are going to drink it in the car on the way home-now Im no criminal defense attorney but this sounds like 2 possible crimes-DUI and Open Container in the car!

    1. Matt Brown says:

      I really doubt very many people will be drinking from the growlers as they drive. I’ve found that most drunk drivers are unaware they have crossed that magical arbitrary blood alcohol barrier into DUI. It is typically a more subtle thing involving their inability to perceive their level of impairment or the effect of the alcohol they’ve consumed on their blood alcohol concentration. It’s an entirely different thing to brazenly violate the law by drinking beer from a growler while driving.

      I’d also say the to-go growler is more like a 100-ounce Box O’ Joe from Dunkin’ Donuts than it’s like a big gulp from a gas station. It better lends itself to sharing with a group at your destination than chugging as you roll down the road.

    2. Nick says:

      Have you ever seen a growler?
      It is a fairly large bottle with a locking cap that would be difficult to drink from.
      This isn’t a big-gulp full of beer.

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