Since going into effect last January, the city’s ordinance mandating stricter keg-delivery regulation has faced little opposition, sources say.
First established to heighten accountability for alcohol purchasing, the ordinance originally received criticism from opponents fearing a keg-registration law would serve as a party-monitoring mechanism for the city.
But Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said actual problems with the ordinance have been minimal.
“I have received absolutely no reports of discontent or inconvenience from either liquor stores or their patrons,” he said. “It seems to be have been universally met with an attitude of ‘no real big deal.’ There is not that much inconvenience brought on by the ordinance.”
In fact, many of the requirements that are now enforced by this ordinance were already in effect before the keg registration went to vote in the City Council.
“The only real change is that the signature of [the] purchaser is required upon delivery,” said Veveer. “Prior to that, the delivery services didn’t act like UPS or FedEx.”
Some students did not even notice that this law was enacted.
“I hadn’t even heard of this [ordinance] until you told me about it today,” a UW-Madison sophomore said. “But it doesn’t make that big of a difference since I usually just go and pick up kegs myself. It really isn’t that much of a problem and I get some exercise lifting.”
Yet many city officials say they felt the law needed to be put in the books.
“We have had problems with kegs showing up and massive over-serving,” Madison Police Department Sgt. Emil Quast said. “In the past, it had been very difficult to trace accountability with kegs and this law makes it a lot easier.”
Susan Crowley, Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, agreed.
“Basically, the purpose of the ordinance was to provide some sort of accountability for the purchase of kegs and to make sure they were not be sold to minors,” Crowley said.
The ordinance requires liquor-store owners to check two forms of identification confirming the legal drinking age of individuals purchasing alcoholic beverages. Those records for the purchase are required to be kept by the stores for two years.
The ordinance also requires requests for alcohol delivery to be made in person at the store and that the purchaser be present at the delivery address to sign a receipt upon delivery. Once the patron has registered with the store, delivery requests can be made over the phone.
Verveer said he worked to add two amendments to the bills in order to help students. He implemented a provision that allows customers to continue running a tab at liquor stores—it is only on the first purchase that they are required to pay up front. He also added a provision that the police department cannot have access to the records of the keg purchase unless it is absolutely necessary.
“I did not want the police force just going into a liquor store, getting the list of kegs sold that night and then going out to look for those addresses and perhaps parties,” Veveer said.