Oneida Co. Tavern League supports new underage drinking billSubmitted: 05/01/2013

Lane Kimble
Managing Editor/Anchor

RHINELANDER - Underage drinkers could get slapped with an even bigger fine if state lawmakers pass a new bill.

People cited for underage drinking would have to pay $1,000 to the bar or liquor store they tried to buy from. That's in addition to the citation fees they already get from police.

Oneida County Tavern League Vice President Aaron Schultz owns Big Daddy's in Rhinelander.

He doesn't tolerate any underagers' attempts to drink at his bar.

"If you're going to come in and have a fake ID or you're not going to have a fake ID, you're not going to be able to get away with it," Schultz said. "It's not really a problem here at Big Daddy's. There have been bars in the past that were known for being underage hangouts. And you can have that business. I don't want that business. I want the responsible drinker."

Without this law, bar and liquor store owners only could take the fake ID and wait for police to issue a citation.

The businesses themselves could also face fines and citations for serving those underagers in the first place.

Now, owners think they could have some teeth to fight back. Schultz can't see much of a downside to approving the bill.

"You know, except for the underage drinker who's trying to get away with it," Schultz said. "Ok, now you got caught and now we're going to sue you for a thousand bucks and win. Sorry about your luck, too bad so sad, but you shouldn't have tried in the first place."

The bill unanimously passed a committee vote Tuesday. It will likely go before the assembly later this month.

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