Underage kids should stay off The Square, saving local business owners trouble and preserving San Marcos drinking culture.
I find it hard to believe everyone I see out on The Square, or in any San Marcos bar for that matter, is of the legal drinking age. The simple truth is they are not. It is all too common in San Marcos for underage students to “sneak” into local bars one way or another and proceed to get publicly wasted.
It may be fun to go out with friends and have a few drinks, but if students require a fake ID or have to use someone else’s driver’s license in order to do so—stay out of the damn bars. Underage kids sneaking into bars are not only breaking the law, but are also creating a negative atmosphere that affects everyone else.
Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officials routinely check for underage drinking at San Marcos businesses on The Square. Using undercover agents and uniformed officers, they are scrutinizing each and every bar in the heart of our town. Businesses then get fined and ticketed for each underage person caught drinking inside the establishment.
Local bar owners are just as frustrated with this issue as I am. Yes, it is the goal of business owners to make a profit and the more customers they have, the higher their profit should be. However, when they are held accountable for each and every person who enters or orders a drink at their place of ownership, underage patrons become a liability rather than an easy way to make money. The fines associated with serving minors far outweigh the small increase in revenue earned from underage illegal drinkers.
What many people fail to see is a seemingly innocent night of fun can lead to consequences that can eventually make The Square a sullen place devoid of its current vitality. San Marcos bars are already reacting to increased TABC activity with heightened door security—doormen now glare at driver’s licenses and often prohibit those with out-of-state and paper identification from entering. This is a direct result of underage adults believing they have the right to alcoholic drinks despite the pesky nationwide law that states otherwise.
Drinking age restrictions are there for a reason—current requirements coincide with the maturity level and amount of life experience necessary to responsibly drink. Some people may be ready for the responsibility of alcohol sooner, but many underage drinkers are not. They instead turn into obnoxious, destructive, trash-spewing, downright bad individuals after a few beverages. We already have enough “frat daddies” to fill the role of annoying drunks, and we do not need anymore.
Underage kids looking to sneak into venues on The Square should do all us mature drinkers a favor and stay inside.