A State Rep Wants To Ban Alcohol Sales, Unless You Can Prove You Have A Designated Driver

We have a clear winner for the award of the most absurd bill filed in this upcoming legislative session. Congratulations, State Rep. Henry Burns (R-Haughton) for filing such a useless bill.

Burns has filed a bill that is the perfect example of the state of Louisiana trying as the nanny for all citizens. As an aside note, who would hire a nanny that was fiscally dysfunctional as the state of Louisiana?

What Burns proposes in HB 132 is to ban bars and restaurants from serving alcoholic beverages, unless a patron can provide proof that they have a designated driver. That designated driver must provide proof to the establishment that they’re a designated driver by presenting a valid, current Louisiana driver’s license.

After reading the bill, here are some instances where customers can be denied service, even if they had no plans to go drinking and driving:

  • A few people come in from out of state for a weekend in New Orleans. They go to a┬árestaurant and order a drink with dinner. The restaurant demands a Louisiana driver’s license from one of them. They can’t buy a drink because they’re from out of state.
  • St. Tammany Parish is bordered by Pearl River County, which is a dry county. A family heads to a restaurant in Slidell for a Sunday meal and one of them orders a drink. Again, they can’t be served under HB 132 because they both have out of state driver’s licenses.
  • A guy goes down to the neighborhood watering hole for a drink after work. He can’t be served because he’s by himself, even if he has just one drink. This is despite the fact that it is virtually impossible to be legally intoxicated after just one drink.

So what we have here is not just a bill that treats┬áthe citizens of Louisiana like children, but also threatens our tourism industry. Not allowing out of state driver’s licenses to be allowed is absurd and will likely lead people to consider other places to visit.

This bill also doesn’t take into account the existence of things such as taxi cabs and ride-sharing apps like Uber. Finally, in some Louisiana cities, bars are walking distance from homes and apartments.

The proper place for this type of legislation is in parish or local government. If a local or parish government believes this unenforceable bill is the way to crack down on drinking and driving, let them enact it. This is not a matter for the Louisiana legislature to decide.

Exit question: is it really the proper role of Louisiana state government to treat us like children? We already have strict laws against drinking and driving. We should obviously punish anyone who gets behind the wheel drunk. But, this goes way too far and eliminates personal responsibility, which is must in a free society.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Interested in more news from Louisiana? We've got you covered! See More Louisiana News
Previous Article
Next Article
Join the Conversation - Download the Speakeasy App.

Trending on The Hayride