Underage Drinking: Success Stories



Drinking: Success Stories



Kansas – September 30, 2002



of Problem










The OJJDP Enforcing the Underage Drinking Laws Initiative supports cooperation between community organizations, enforcement agencies, youth, and other concerned citizens to change local ordinances and enforcement practices.





Communities Lead the Way

on Keg Registration


many years, prevention advocates in Kansas have

finally won passage of a statewide keg registration law. The Legislature

passed the law only after several communities led the way by passing local

keg registration ordinances.

Kansas, like many States, sees keg parties as a major venue for underage drinking.

Often, police descend on a party to find that no one will admit to knowing

where the keg was purchased.  As

one Sheriff put it, ?It?s like the keg fairy dropped them out of the

sky.? Advocates have proposed keg registration several times, but until

recently the bills were consistently defeated. With such difficulty at the

State level, advocates began looking for local solutions.


by the defeats, the Chief of Police in Emporia, Kansas,

asked whether it was possible to have a local ordinance in the absence of

State law. Teresa Walters, of Emporians for Drug Awareness, decided to

find out. She first spoke with the Director of the Kansas ABC, who told

her that there was no preemptive language in State statutes. She also

contacted MADD?s national headquarters, and asked about strategies for

getting keg registration passed. A local physician, Dr. James Barnett,

called every state that had keg registration for information; officials in

those states expressed wholehearted support for their keg registration



The next step for Emporia was a postcard survey, which included a question about

support for keg registration. More than 90% of respondents said that they

supported such an ordinance! Armed with information from other States and

the results of their

survey, Barnett and Walters took their proposal to the County Commission, where it passed in two meetings.

Once Emporia implemented the ordinance, Walters visited several counties to explain the

rationale behind keg registration. New ordinances soon followed in many of

those counties.

Medical Reviewer