DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A proposed bill in the Ohio Statehouse would put tighter restrictions on who is allowed to enter bars or breweries.
Senate Bill 115, proposed by Sen. Tina Maharath (D-District 3), states no one under age 21 is allowed at businesses where 60 percent of sales come from alcohol. The bill would apply to any business with permits for liquor, beer, wine, or any alcoholic beverage.
Sara Stathes, co-owner of Dayton’s Barrel House, said she was “infuriated” by the proposal
“I think that it makes zero sense and I think it will be detrimental to a lot of businesses especially in craft beer,” Stathes said.
Stathes said she and other bars or restaurants in the area welcome families with themed nights, board games, and coloring books.
“I have two kids that spend half of their lives here. So, that law would also hurt me that way because I couldn’t even be able to bring my kids to work,” Stathes said.
The bill’s sponsor says the bill is about curbing underage drinking.
In her testimony, Sen. Maharath said, “Ohio law allows people under the age of 21 to possess and consume alcohol under the supervision of a parent, guardian or spouse. The purpose of this legislation is to eliminate those exceptions.”
Stathes understands restricting hours, she doesn’t allow anyone under 21 after 11 p.m.. However, for her, outright banning anyone from 21 and under from even stepping foot inside her establishment is not the right approach.
“It goes all the way down the chain. It would hurt our employees as well if we’re bringing in less money. So, it’d just be bad all around,” Stathes said.
The bill had its first reading this week. It still needs to go through two more readings before lawmakers attempt to get it on the governor’s desk for signature.