Amazing! In an article that's so new I can't even find it online*, keg registration is found to have no effect in reducing underage drinking and driving fatalities. That's actually admitted in a press release put out by the Substance Abuse Prevention Research Program today. It's not the main thrust of the article; that's about laws that do work. (BTW, I contacted the folks who put out the release: you'll find the full cite below.)
Sorry this is kind of disorganized, but it's wild to see that right there in the middle of the press release, James Fell of PIRE (Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, noted New Dry screamers) says “We didn’t find that laws mandating that beer kegs be registered to the purchaser made any difference in reducing underage drinking and driving fatal crashes. In fact with this particular law, we saw 12 percent more drinking-related traffic fatalities amongst those under 21.” Keg registration doesn't work, dopes, I've been saying that for years!
It's almost as interesting to note the main point of the piece. According to their research, the most effective laws in preventing underage drinking-and-driving fatalities are: the 0.08 BAC DUI law, automatic license suspension for driving with 0.08 BAC, primary offense seatbelt laws (allowing officers to pull drivers over for failure to wear seatbelts, not just citing them for it if they find it after pullovers for other reasons), and the 21 LDA. I'm not getting into the LDA law, but I will note that the other three laws affect all ages of drinking-and-driving. I'd also like to know the difference they found between fatalities under 0.1 BAC laws and 0.08 laws, whether individual state drinking culture/attitudes or enforcement budgets and priorities were taken into account, but if I ever see the article, there will be time for that.
For now, could we get the main message out? Stop wasting time and money and effort on keg registration laws, because they don't work. Period. Tell your legislators. I already have, and as I said in that e-mail, "I'm against keg registration laws because they are unfair to beer drinkers, they are a bureaucratic annoyance, and they are invasive of privacy. But primarily, I am against them because they don't work, and I would much rather see the Commonwealth spend what money and effort we have on programs that DO work."
*I'm not the only one who can't find the article: SAPRP was so excited to get this press release out the door that it includes neither the title of the article or the authors, exactly the kind of sloppy research we're all familiar with from the New Drys, and thanks for keeping the faith, guys. It's also interesting to see that the only person quoted in the press release is a researcher from PIRE. Is Fell one of the authors? [yes, see below] Maybe, but the inkslingers at SAPRP fail to make that clear. Good job, folks.
Just more proof that there is a vast, New Dry conspiracy, connected by funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and they maintain separate agencies and foundations in part to look more numerous and important (and believable) than they are, and quote and comment on each other to look smarter. Even if the newspapers aren't on to this scam, I am.
I also have the full cite for the article: The Impact of Underage Drinking Laws on Alcohol-Related Fatal Crashes of Young Drivers, in the online version of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research (though it doesn't appear to actually be up yet), authored by James C. Fell, M.S., Deborah A. Fisher, Ph.D., Robert B. Voas, Ph.D., Kenneth Blackman, M.S., A. Scott Tippetts, B.A. The authors, BTW, are all members of PIRE; I've seen Voas's work before.