Spectator editorial: Bar call
Sometimes a problem in need of a solution yields an extreme, knee-jerk reaction that raises more questions than it is supposed to answer.
In an attempt to reduce college binge drinking, La Crosse police are fining bar owners when drunken individuals point out the bar at which they last drank, according to an Associated Press article published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
With La Crosse attracting national attention due to the most recent drowning in the Mississippi River, police have taken desperate measures by trying to place responsibility on the establishments serving the drinks.
Something has to be done to curb the level of college binge drinking, but blaming a bar for questionably over-serving a patron is not the right way to go about it.
Bartenders are trained to deal with drunken customers, but the blame cannot be placed squarely on their shoulders. On a busy night, it would be hard to keep track of each individual customer’s specific alcohol consumption.
In reality, the bulk of the responsibility should belong to the individual ordering the drinks because alcohol tolerance differs from person to person. People should know their limits before stepping foot into a bar or ordering another drink.
The policy also raises the debate of whether the drunken individual can be trusted to provide an accurate description of his or her experiences at a given bar.
However, bars should not be exonerated from taking a portion of the responsibility. If police begin to notice a recurring trend coming from one bar, then they should investigate further and take action.
Typically, after a tragic accident that affects a community of people, governments and law enforcement officials react with otherwise illogical actions, and this has proven to be no exception.