Vice Squad
Friday, January 23, 2004
Updating Alcohol Developments in South Dakota

For reasons that I cannot understand, Vice Squad is developing an affinity for following alcohol regulation developments in South Dakota. A January 9th post noted the possibility of legalizing alcohol on the Pine Ridge reservation, and an attempt to raise the excise tax for county use. Here are some more recent developments:

(1) The referendum on alcohol legalization on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation has been slightly postponed.

(2) The state legislature is considering a bill that would bring South Dakota practices in line with a federal, well, recommendation, but more of a mandate given the grant funds at stake. It concerns juvenile drivers who are caught with a little alcohol in their system (between .02 and .08 BAC). Here's the first line from the AP story at Aberdeen "The Legislature was asked Friday to approve a bill that would keep drivers younger than 18 from being locked up more than 48 hours when caught drunk or drugged." This sentence is misleading, however, in that a BAC of .02 would not meet the ordinary understanding of "drunk."

(3) Another AP story at Aberdeen notes a proposal to allow special events (like summer festivals) that currently can procure licenses to serve beer and wine to also be licensed for mixed drinks. Are all the liquor interests behind this proposal? No, not all of them!: "...a lobbyist for the state Retail Liquor Dealers Association, said his organization opposes the bill because it would take trade away from businesses that serve liquor and pay taxes year-round. He said some stores depend on revenues from annual events and holidays to survive."

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