If it’s a state legislature, and particularly if it’s the Louisiana state legislature, you can be sure there will be bills filed before each session which make you shake your head at the insistence of politicians on trying to run your life.
This year is no different. Among the head-shaking legislative items being filed is SB 134, by Sen. Dan Claitor (R-Baton Rouge), which provides…
Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana:
Section 1. R.S. 32:300(B)(3)(b) is hereby amended and reenacted to read as follows:
§300. Possession of alcoholic beverages in motor vehicles
B. For purposes of this Section, the following words have the following meanings ascribed to them:
(3)(a) * * *
(b) “Open alcoholic beverage container” shall not mean any bottle, can, or other receptacle that contains a frozen alcoholic beverage unless the design of the lid covering the frozen alcoholic beverage permits access by a straw, the lid is removed, a straw protrudes therefrom, or the contents of the receptacle have been partially removed.
Current law on drive-thru frozen daiquiris says that if you put a straw through the hole in the lid of the styrofoam cup you’ve now made the cup an open container and if you get pulled over the cop can give you a ticket for it. What Claitor’s bill would do is make it so that if the daiquiri place puts a lid on the cup which has a perforation you can stick a straw through, that by itself makes the cup an open container.
“This bill simply says it can’t be pre-perforated,” he explained to WWL-AM.
Which, of course, makes it more problematic to get a daiquiri from a drive-thru place that you can take a sip out of until you get home.
Or a lot easier for cops to write tickets.
Claitor sent this up two years ago and it got killed in the Senate Transportation committee. That’s what’s likely to happen again this year, which is a good thing.
We like Claitor. He’s one of the better people in a state Senate we think is atrocious even if it has 22 Republicans out of 39 members.
But this bill is a waste of his and our time. To the extent daiquiri places ought to be regulated at all, localities are perfectly capable of doing so. The state legislature has no significant interest in involving itself in such minutiae, and the restriction on individual freedom inherent in dictating to a private business what manner of plastic lids it can put on its beverage containers – regardless of whether those beverages contain alcohol – is just plain obnoxious.
We need to do a better job enforcing the laws we have before we start passing new laws which make criminals out of people who aren’t doing anything wrong.