BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Louisiana State Senator Beth Mizell introduced the “Card ‘Em Act,” to deter underage drinking in bars. This was done after the death of Madison Brooks. SB194 or the “Card ‘Em Act,” would ban anyone under the age of 21 from entering bars.
Senator Mizell said, “It’s time for Louisiana to join the rest of the country and prohibit anyone
under 21 from entering a bar.” Louisiana’s drinking age has been set at 21 since 1996.
A few weeks ago, East Baton Rouge Metro Councilwoman Laurie Adams asked for a report from the Alcohol Beverage Control Board, on underage drinking in the area.
From that report, they found that those caught in bars were primarily 18 to 20-year-olds, along with the ABC board collecting hundreds of fake ids.
Councilwoman Adams believes if the bill passes, college students will start drinking at home rather than out at bars. “I do have concerns,” says Adams, “that the 21 drinking age does encourage negative behavior in our 18, 19, and 20 years.”
One member of the community believes if the bill passes, it will create more problems. Baton Rouge resident, Brad Gordon, is pleased that legislation is looking into the large amount of underage drinking in the area but says, “I think that we’re taking a step in the direction that’s gonna lead to more problems rather than a real solution.”
“We’re going to take them outside of a controlled environment,” says Gordon “and just turn them loose.”
Gordon believes that vehicular homicides will increase from driving around town to different house parties instead of staying somewhere like Tigerland where multiple bars are within walking distance. “You’re going from friend house to friend house, bowling alley, to this place or that place,” says Gordon, “It’s just going to be a really-really problematic kind of thing.”
Gordon is also concerned about the decrease in members of law enforcement within the city compared to years prior. “We don’t have enough officers,” says Gordon, “to deal with this extended level of truancy that we would have to deal with or whatever.”
Last month, the ABC board officially made higher fines for bar owners who are caught serving underage. A business could be fined anywhere between $50 to $15,000.
An event in honor of Madison Brooks will be held on Wednesday, April 12 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at LSU Union Theater. All female Louisiana state senators and other policymakers are expected to attend in support of this cause and the newly introduced “Card ‘Em Act.”