In the Nation’s Capital, Drinking in Large Groups Can Get You Fined
Busybodies are always trying to figure out a way to control our lives in ways never seen before. In Washington, DC, the obsession is turning into a mental health epidemic—among bureaucrats and their supporters only.
According to Watchdog.org, DC has decided to target groups that organize pub crawls. Because drinking in large groups is apparently dangerous.
Claiming to have safety in mind following a host of different pub crawls organized in the city this past year, DC officials are targeting these same pub crawl organizations, saying that bringing large groups of tourists to local restaurants and pubs to boost the local economy is just too much.
Instead of letting the community benefit from tourism, DC officials want fewer groups to organize pub crawls in the region, forcing gatherings of over 200 people to register with the city before hitting the town. These groups have to pay officials $500 for the privilege of getting an OK from the local government to operate, and organizers must also have a security plan set up. Oh, and never mind the holidays! DC will not give you an OK to operate for those sacred drinking dates.
According to Reason, the new rules also dictate ho pub crawls can be advertised, forcing organizers to add a warning saying “you must be 21 or older to participate” on every piece of pub crawl marketing material. Organizers must also add a line encouraging the use of public transportation.
But before this debacle took place and the city decided to “take action,” organizers were simply required to submit a registration. With the new requirements in place, the number of organized pub crawls in the nation’s capital is already starting to drop.
But despite the criticism, DC officials seem focused on letting this new set of rules stay in place. Even if that means local businesses will hurt as a result.
According to Watchdog.org, new impositions have created another set of problems, especially if government officials find an issue with you and your buddies participating in unregulated or unlawful pub crawls. Restaurants and pubs that aid unregulated groups under the new rules could be fined.
To Jon Gabel, an executive with event organizing company Joonbug Productions, the city’s new rules could hurt local businesses by both keeping people away and forcing restaurants to turn down customers.
He told the Washington City Paper that his pub crawls saved their lives in several occasions. A local restaurant manager agreed, saying that the new rules are “definitely going to impact a lot of businesses.”
In DC, large pub crawls have been part of the scene for several years, but it was only during 2015’s Halloween pub crawl that residents and law enforcement began to push for different rules. Nevertheless, Watchdog.org reports that incidents or arrests were too few or unimportant.
With the new rules in place, local business owners are afraid of the future, especially considering that since its implementation, at least four events were canceled.