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Nebraska Mulls Ban on Sponsored Drinking Games

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To reduce drunk driving, Nebraska's Liquor Control Commission is considering a ban on drinking games sponsored by suppliers or bars, the Associated Press reported Jan. 10.

The commission has focused on drinking games like beer pong because they “encourage overintoxication, which has a societal risk, a societal harm,” according to Hobert Rupe, who directs the commission. 

“The problem with a lot of these games is if you're drinking a lot of alcohol rapidly, in a short amount of time, you're not going to realize you're at that state until it's too late,” he said. Under the proposed regulations, a bar that violated the ban could lose its liquor license.

The commission held a public hearing in December, followed by a 30-day period for public comment. According to Rupe, the commission received a lot of positive feedback. “We've also heard that we are being a nanny state,” he said.

Nick Doher, a customer interviewed at the Fat Toad Bar in Lincoln, Nebr., said he didn't go there to drink, but to play beer pong.

Josh Root, the bar's owner, said, “It's not in anybody's interest to get really drunk when they're trying to win $200,” at beer pong.

The commission had planned to vote on the proposal on Jan. 12. However, because of significant public response, it voted instead to extend the public comment period until Jan. 31 and vote on the proposal in February.

If the board approves the proposal, it will go to Nebr. governor Dave Heineman for a final decision.

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