As a nightclub and bar consultant, I can say from firsthand experience
that businesses' dependence on promoting cheap and free alcoholic
beverages to college patrons only adds to the growing crisis of binge
drinking, underage drinking, drunken driving, confrontations and overall
drunken behavior ("Colleges
are reaching their limit on alcohol").
Some states have taken the lead in enacting legislation that prevents two
major influences on this crisis � banning free and all-you-can-drink
nights and more than one or two nights a week of any kind of drink
specials, as well as totally outlawing anyone under the legal drinking age
from entering a liquor-only establishment.
Minors' sole purpose in being in such bars, clubs or lounges is to obtain
an illegal drink. There is no reason to allow minors into any alcohol-only
premises. They are exploited, preyed upon and simply out of their element.
Responsibility and personal accountability are two factors that are never
addressed until a tragedy occurs.
I have always maintained that the way these clubs make serious money is by
bringing in patrons by selling the fun experience, not by promoting
"ladies drink free" or cheap drinks.
Owners are responsible when they encourage excessive drinking and show no
regard or concern for the welfare of these college students. More beer
companies and many more liquor companies need to stop focusing on selling
cases of liquor and start showing they care about their college drinkers.
This crisis is very personal to me. My son and his girlfriend, both 13,
were hit by a drunken driver who was in his early 20s. My son's girlfriend
was killed. I see the clear and present danger of binge and non-stop
Rich Unger, Sarasota, Fla.