High school students, cops and drunk driving opponents are at the statehouse today, promoting a bill that would require the registration of beer kegs. The bill backers say it’ll cut down on underage drinking. Seventeen-year-old Alicia Larson, a junior at Underwood High School, says one of her friends got drunk at a keg party last October, and died in a car accident.Larson says after her friend’s death, there were all sorts of questions, like ‘Who bought the keg?” She says her friend’s parents would have known who was responsible for purchasing the alcohol he drank that night if there had been some tracking system. Larson wants adults to sign a register when they purchase a keg of beer. She believes it’ll discourage them from giving kegs to minors.Larson says after her friend died, “everybody promised they weren’t going to drink” but she says she knows people in her high school still do. Larson believes keg registration can make a big difference in curtailing underage drinking. So does Lamoni Police Chief Dale Killpack, who says when a kid dies after a kegger, it is often impossible to track down the person who bought the keg. Killpack says he’s “walked into a home and we’ve had 150-200 people, and it’s body to body, binge drinking going on in there.” Killpack says he’s even seen folks at keggers pouring pitchers of beer down funnels that’re in the mouths of binge drinkers. Killpack says the keg registration bill wouldn’t punish the retailer but the person who buys the beer and gives it to minors. Even so, Iowa grocers are opposed to the idea, citing the cost and time of keeping a log book. Kristen Hanson, a sophomore at Mason City High School, says she supports the bill because she’s afraid of what’s happening at keggers. Hanson says “Monday morning comes around” and she hears “people talk about the latest keg party.” She says it’s disturbing and she’s worried someone will die after drinking too much.
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