Monday, November 16, 2009

An Email I Received...

Date: Fri, 13 Nov 2009 22:26:40 -0800
From: XXX
Subject: Bar help for out of towner please?
Hey so im 20, auburn student, and in town for the game this weekend and we cant find a single bar that will let me in and everyone else with us is 21, i feel awful for ruining their wkend. All the bars in auburn are 18+ enter 21 to drink, did not expect this. Looked online and found a few places whose websites says they allow 18+ entry but went to those places and could not get in. Is there ANY place downtown we can go after the game tomorrow night?im not trying to get in to drink, just want my friends to be able to go where they want and all of us to experience athens! This sucksssss :( > > Sent from my iPhone

Unfortunately, the Athens government has scared the hell out of bar owners so much with their underaged stings and stiff fines that while it's legal for a person 18-21 to be in a bar, most bars have now decided to only let in people who are 21+. There's simply too much liability and penalities from the government to risk letting under-21 people in and then hoping they won't get their hands on any alcohol.

I feel bad that this girl came all the way out to Athens and can't get in anywhere, even though she claims she's not interested in drinking, but theres simply no way to effectively guarantee that she won't drink. On the other hand, I can't feel too bad for her, seeing as she should know that wanting to get into a bar while being underaged could pose a problem.

Again, the government has spent an inordinate amount of time and money making things incredibly difficult for the bar industry in Athens. I don't know the solution, but the fact that their stringent enforcement of questionable rules and laws, some of which have been found to be unconstitutional (such as making a minimum age requirement for bar employees), that put a sizable dent in our wallets and sanity. It's difficult for those of who are simply trying to make a living.

It's fucking ridiculous, to be blunt.

The government has set up quite a complex maze of hoops and obstacles that the bar industry has to navigate in order to comply with their numerous demands, and then when there's a mistep or failure on our part to stay current with what they require, we're fined exorbitant fees and even forced to close the business down temporarily or permanently.

But I guess at this point we shouldn't expect anything less than ridiculousness from the Athens-Clarke County government.


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