Letters to the EditorNews

Free-Range Beer Drinking Is a Bad Idea

Regarding the article “Roam if You Want To” (June 19), which informs us about the possibility of “beer gardens” being done away with at festivals such as AthFest, does anyone else see the very real potential for out-of-control drinking by underage attendees? How hard would it be for someone who can legally drink (over 21 years old) to buy a beer for someone who’s 18, for example? “Roaming” with beer is asking for trouble. All that needs to be done is for the beer to be poured into a different container, and then anyone can drink. Take it from someone who knows all about drinking underage (many years ago): This can and will be done. 

One argument made in the article stated that friends/families get separated when someone is in a beer garden and the others aren’t. That’s a tough one. How about not drinking beer during the festival? It’s not mandatory, and the festival might even be more enjoyable if one’s mind isn’t altered, and you’re not looking for a bathroom/PortaPotty to urinate.

I probably sound like a party pooper, but I’m looking at the big picture, and all I see is the misuse of the “roaming” plan. The article mentions the need for fewer police officers when they’re not needed for minding the beer gardens, but I can imagine them being needed to also “roam” and keep the partying legal and keeping altercations (which we all know tend to happen more when someone’s drunk than not) at bay (or preventing them). If anything, I think more officers would be needed. 

This is a college town, and college students are right up there when one thinks about who’s likely to abuse alcohol. I did it. You probably did it. I haven’t had an alcoholic beverage in over 30 years, and you know what? I tend to enjoy myself more than I did when drinking. I also can remember events when I haven’t gotten blotto during a show or concert. Drinking is not required to have a good time, I promise you. Containing the beer drinkers to beer gardens seems like a better plan if someone has to drink beer (There are many other beverages that are suitable and thirst-quenching!) than to allow them to roam and possibly cause problems that we won’t know about until the roaming is allowed. I can picture the stumbling, falling, unruly behavior and all of the other unpleasant behaviors that occur when people get drunk in public (Don’t you just hate stepping in someone’s vomit?), and students, even those 21 or older, aren’t necessarily familiar yet with how much alcohol their bodies can metabolize or handle within a given time. I think this is a bad, bad idea.