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Ohio bill would close loophole that allows underage drinking

Posted at 3:00 PM, Feb 03, 2020

A loophole in a law allows people under the age of 21 to drink alcohol as long as they’re supervised by a guardian.

A state senator wants to eliminate that.

Sen. Tina Maharath hopes to close the loophole with Senate Bill 115.

“If someone under the age of 15 starts drinking before they are 21, they are five times more likely to develop an alcohol dependence compared to those who wait until they are 21,” Maharath said.

At MadTree Brewing, Trevor Self, assistant brand manager, said the brewery is family friendly, and the staff follows procedures to prevent underage drinking.

“We always ask that, if anyone is under 21, that they are accompanied by a parental guardian, so that usually prevents anything going further from there,” Self said. “A lot of times we have house-made ginger ale that people love, and there are plenty of options of other things to do, so it’s not something that we really see an issue with.”

Self said Madtree staff take extra steps to prevent underage drinking by carding customers in the later hours.

Maharath said she is working on adding a religious exemption to the bill.