Keg of beer means responsibility |

Keg of beer means responsibility

Tim Mutrie

The Aspen Police Department has initiated new beer keg procedures that authorities hope help curb underage drinking among local youths.The keg tag system is now in place at two Aspen liquor stores – The Grog Shop, near City Market, and Aspen Wine & Spirit Co., next to Clark’s Market – which stock beer kegs for retail sale.To purchase kegs, buyers must now fill out and sign a detailed form, which advises them of the penalties of supplying minors with alcohol, as well as tampering with the tag. Kegs that end up in the hands of juveniles can now be traced back to the individual who purchased the barrel.”We’re trying to find better ways to deal with youths and alcohol, and make people more law-abiding,” said Brad Onsgard, juvenile investigator with the police department. “Hopefully, this will help keep alcohol away from underage kids.”Although Onsgard characterized underage keg parties in the Aspen area as “infrequent,” he said it is the department’s intent to force keg buyers to think about the consequences of serving youths.”The whole idea behind this came from the youth collaborative forum,” Onsgard said, referring to the newly formed group of area adults, young adults and teens created to address problems faced by local youths.Managers at the two Aspen liquor stores said they support the initiative.”The police asked us if we wanted to do it, and what we’d like to have on the form, and then they typed it up and brought it back to us with the tags,” said Tom Murray, assistant manager of The Grog Shop. “I don’t think you would buy a keg for a high school party once you knew what the law states – it’s a big deterrent.””When it comes to the cops, we don’t want to mess around, so when the cops said it was necessary, we did it,” said Chris Cook, manager of Aspen Wine & Spirits Co. “It’s brand new, so we don’t know how it’s going to work yet, but it’s a step in the right direction.”Onsgard said Glenwood Springs already has a keg-tagging system in place, and that Basalt and Snowmass Village are looking to follow suit. Many other communities in the state, particularly on the Front Range, have used tagging systems for many years, Onsgard said.

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