The bill to track purchasers of beer has died in the Colorado Senate. It would have required the installation of an identification tag in every keg of beer sold. Its purpose was to reduce the number of kegs purchased by adults for minors. But Democrats broke ranks and joined Republicans in opposing the measure:

The bill roused strong opposition from the beer industry and big liquor-store owners, which said the keg tags would lead minors to drink hard liquor and beer in cans or bottles. A slim majority of the Senate agreed with that argument.

“If you make keg alcoholic beverages difficult to get, they’re going to switch to anything else they can get, whether it’s cases of beer or harder liquor,” said Democratic Sen. Ron Tupa, whose Boulder district includes the University of Colorado campus.

On a related topic, the New York Times today reports on a Vermont bill to lower the state’s drinking age from 21 to 18. Proponents say that will not only be fairer to 18 year olds who are of sufficient age to go to war, vote, marry and enter contracts, but will reduce the “forbidden fruit” lure of alchohol and binge-drinking among college kids.

Unfortunately, since 1984, the feds have tied the drinking age to highway funds. Colorado would have to forego those funds if it lowered the drinking age. Too bad, because at least in my view, that’s a far better idea than requiring beer kegs to have ID tags.

Much more information about youth and drinking is available here.