Drinking with dad bill fails in committee

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Sorry, kids. But it's still against the law to drink with dad or have margaritas with mom at Colorado bars and restaurants.

A bill that would have allowed parents to buy alcohol for persons as young as 18 — dubbed the "Drinking With Dad" bill — failed to survive, following a state legislative committee hearing Wednesday.

State Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, who sponsored the legislation, said his bill would have allowed parents to "show their kids how to enjoy an adult beverage in public (responsibly)."

Brophy argued that data from 11 other states that have similar laws to the one he proposed showed a decrease in the number of drunken driving incidents committed by young persons, as well as resulted in fewer underage drinkers overall.

Underage people currently are allowed to drink with their parents at home. But this was a bridge too far for the majority of legislators on the Senate's State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.

Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Westminster, said that simply trying to prove that the underage person is the parent's child would put the restaurant industry – and parents – in a tough spot.

"I have to bring my daughter's birth certificate and my own to prove that I'm her legal mother?" Hudak said.

Hudak also said that, "If I wanted my daughter to have margaritas with me, I would invite her to my place and have them at home."

Sen. Matt Jones, D-Boulder, said he once worked as a waiter and recalled that "it was hard enough carding for (the legal drinking age of 21) at the time." Jones said that restaurant workers' tips could be affected in cases where they refused to sell booze to the young person.

Mike Violette of the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police said the bill would have "unintended consequences."

"Not all parents are as responsible in Colorado, unfortunately, as Mr. Brophy and his wife," Violette said.

The committee voted against moving the bill forward by a 4-1 vote. The lone supporter was Sen. Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch, who said that in three years, his son will become a young man who is 18.

"He can go to fight in Afghanistan, he can vote, he can defend our country," Harvey said. "But … if I wanted to take him out for a beer in Colorado, I couldn't do that."