Buying a keg of beer may get more complicated if an Aggie mother has her way. State lawmakers are considering three new bills aimed at curbing underage drinking. One of those places more responsibility on those who purchase kegs.
Five years after her son, Michael, died of alcohol poisoning, Susan Wagener is still lobbying for the state to pass more laws aimed at reducing underage and binge drinking. Michael was a Texas A&M junior and died celebrating his 21st birthday.
"In a matter of 30 to 45 minutes, Michael had consumed eight to nine four-ounce shots of mixed alcohol. You can do the math. That's an awful lot of alcohol is a short period of time,” said Wagener.
Wagener along with her state representative in the Woodlands, is working to pass legislation that would address the problem of underage and binge drinking.
One of the bills introduced would call for beer keg registration. In order to buy a keg, the customer would have to sign a form swearing they're of age, and promising not to serve the beer to minors. The keg would have a registration number and the buyer would have to leave their address and telephone number so that the keg could be traced back to them.
While the bill has the backing of the TABC, some beer retailers say it would be more of a burden than prevention, stating all the additional paperwork and book keeping that they would need to do. Some believe that it is a law that would only make people feel good, but would have no real impact on underage drinking.
Another proposed bill would punish vendors who sell alcohol to people during the early morning hours of their 21st birthday. Michael Wagener died celebrating his. Lawmakers say the bill is aimed at preventing deaths like Michael's.
"Each of us has a responsibility. Even if our young person is not drinking, they are impacted by those who are," said Wagener.
Wagener hopes that keg registration and harsher punishments to those who provide alcohol to minors will help save lives.
A third bill that legislators are debating is one that would limit the amount of alcohol that may be served in one drink.