Legislature votes to repeal Michigan’s keg tag law
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is giving up on a law that requires beer kegs to be sold with tags that can identify who bought them — an initiative that critics say has not curbed underage or binge drinking.
The state House voted unanimously Wednesday to repeal the law, months after the Senate did the same. The bill should soon reach Gov. Rick Snyder, who is expected to sign it into law.
The law was enacted in 2010 to curtail “keggers” that attract underage drinkers. Michigan joined more than 30 other states with similar laws.
Keg buyers must sign a receipt listing their name, address and phone number, and they must show a driver’s license or state I.D. card. Stores attach a tag to each keg and keep a copy of the receipt for at least 30 days. The $30 keg deposit is not returned unless the tag remains on the keg.
Some believe the law — though well-intentioned — has led partygoers to turn to hard liquor or cases of beer and has prompted underage minors to drink before going to a party out of fear of not being served. Retailers complain that it is burdensome to remove the tags and that unreturned kegs are expensive to replace.
Proponents of the repeal legislation include grocers, stores, bars, restaurant and breweries.
“The keg tag law has been both difficult to administer and comply with since it was enacted,” said the bill sponsor, Republican Sen. Goeff Hansen of Hart. “While likely well-intended in theory, in practice these issues have outweighed its original purpose.”