Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5) will tonight introduce an ordinance that aims to curb irresponsible and underage drinking that undermines safety and quality of life in Providence neighborhoods. The proposed ordinance makes it easier for law enforcement officers to find the source of kegs provided to minors, requires more legal responsibility from adults obtaining kegs, and codifies a more transparent process for obtaining kegs at liquor stores.
Currently, officers called to off-campus parties in Providence neighborhoods are left without a paper trail to determine how underage drinkers obtained the kegs purchased on their behalf. Although officers can confiscate kegs, the source of the problem often remains unaddressed.
“This ordinance enhances our existing state law to establish greater accountability for keg purchases and distribution,” said Councilwoman Ryan. “It is a product of our strong collaboration with police officers, school officials, and neighbors to improve safety and quality of life in all of our neighborhoods.”
If passed, the ordinance will require buyers to make a $75 keg deposit at the time of purchase. The deposit is refundable if the keg is returned to the store within 30 days with the state-mandated keg label intact.
Buyers would also be required to sign a document, known as an adult responsibility form, attesting under penalty of perjury that the information they provide for the keg label and other records is accurate. The form also requires keg buyers to attest that they will not allow underage consumption.
Stores selling kegs of beer would be required to record identifying information from buyers and retain those records, as well as copies of each adult responsibility form, for at least 180 days after each keg is returned. Records must include the name and address of the purchaser, the form of identification used and the identification card number, the date and time of the purchase, the approximate time and location of the event where the beer will be dispensed, the number of kegs purchased, and the individual identification numbers for each keg.
If passed, the ordinance would mandate $500 penalties for violations.