PA Sen. Stewart Greenleaf attempts to pass new beer keg tagging law | The Triangle

PA Sen. Stewart Greenleaf attempts to pass new beer keg tagging law

Keg parties are a staple of college life — in the movies if not necessarily in reality — but that may change if one bill passes the Pennsylvania General Assembly: Senate Bill 122 would require beer keg purchasers to leave their name and address with the distributor, a record that would be associated with a serial number on the keg.

Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, of Bucks and Montgomery counties, wrote in a memorandum to his colleagues that the “legislation will help police track down and prosecute adults who let minors drink beer at keg parties.” He reintroduced the bill Jan. 14 after it did not receive a vote in the previous Assembly session. A pet project, Greenleaf has been trying to get it passed since 1992 .  The measure has parallels in 31 states, the senator claimed, citing the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. It also has the support of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Greenleaf, a senator since 1978, is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Vice Chair of the Intergovernmental Operations Committee and a member of the Appropriations, Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, Education and Finance committees.

A similar law was passed in Michigan in November 2011. A year later, beer distributors reported a sharp decrease in their keg sales, with one seller reporting a 95 percent drop in sales per week. According to the Ann Arbor News, college kids changed from the tagged beer kegs to simple packs of beer, which would roughly cost the same amount as beer kegs. There was also a slight decrease in citations from the
year prior.

Is Powelton Avenue and Spring Garden Street’s reputation in danger? Just as a new mobile app, appropriately named “Kegg,” is slated to enliven Drexel University’s party scene, it seems beer suppliers for illicit parties may have to be on the lookout for Philadelphia’s finest. The app, available for iOS, hopes to create an event aggregator to which people can submit their events on a stream for interested students to see. The creators, also Drexel students, hope to expand to other campuses. Other platforms for Drexel parties includes the Facebook group Events & Parties, which students post on quite frequently.

Campus is hardly excited about the bill either way — neither Inter-fraternity Council President Matt Morimoto nor Vice President of Public Safety Domenic Ceccanecchio responded to emails sent Jan. 16.

Despite the lack of success so far, Greenleaf seemed confident in his proposal’s merits. He quoted the Maine Bureau of Liquor Enforcement in saying that tagging reduced keg parties by as much as 80 percent . But perhaps that claim itself ought to be tagged — by a fact-checker — since the Bureau of Liquor Enforcement has not existed since 2003. Greenleaf’s office could not be reached for comment.

Other major legislation Greenleaf has been noted to be a part of was his determination to ban smoking indoors since 1993.  He supported a law passed in 1997 that allowed parents of a minor dependent on drugs or alcohol to commit the child to a rehabilitation facility without the child’s consent. He also helped pass a law that allowed the sale of alcoholic beverages on Election Day in 2000 .