Police say keg ID tags keeping parties under control

Beer keg identification tags have led to fewer keg busts this semester, police say.

Michigan began requiring identification tags be attached to beer kegs stores sell late last year, requiring buyers to sign a receipt with their name, address, telephone number and driver’s license or state identification card number.

Mount Pleasant Public Information Officer Jeff Thompson said keg tags could be the reason his department has not seized any kegs this semester.

“For whatever reason, whether it’s because there’s fewer kegs or because officers aren’t finding them, we haven’t confiscated a keg since this summer,” he said.

If the keg is returned to the store unattached, the $30 keg deposit will not be returned to the buyer. Removing the tag is now considered a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a fine of up to $500, police said.

Thompson said a dozen kegs on average are confiscated each semester at parties and tailgates, but he said the tags have minimized the severity of parties.

Isabella County Sheriff Mioduszewski agreed, saying people are being more cooperative with police when parties are busted.

“I think it has helped in that respect; it takes the question out when we go to a party. Now we know who rented the keg,” he said. “No one would claim ownership before.”

In 2011, Ken Los, co-owner of Bottle and Barrel, 1635 E. Broomfield St., Triple Deuce Party Store, LLC, 222 S. Washington St., and Pickard Party Store, 5114 E. Pickard St., said the new law would greatly affect his businesses, CM Life previously reported.

“We’re expecting more than 75 percent of keg sales to go down,” Los said.

The Pickard Party Store sells around 45 to 50 kegs a month, mostly to senior students.

The keg tag law is proving to deter customers. Caledonia senior Kurt Rempe said he has not bought a keg since the law was enforced last November.

“Before keg tags, I bought a couple kegs,” he said “I didn’t want to buy them afterwards, because I didn’t want cops showing up at my house.”

However, Jackson senior Kyle Simon said the keg tag law has not affected his keg purchases, because the people he drinks with are all over 21.

“Me and my buddies still purchase kegs occasionally,” he said. “Eight to 10 of us get a keg Saturday night and finish it on Sunday while watching football.”