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UPDATE | Ohio bill to ban underage patrons from bars amended

Under current law, people under 21 years of age may enter such an establishment, but businesses are barred from serving them.
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UPDATE — The Ohio state senator who wrote legislation to ban kids from bars has drafted an amendment that explains her intent is only to make sure they cannot drink in them. 

State Sen. Tina Maharath said her Senate Bill 115 is not clear and there was a misunderstanding about the bill's intent. 

"I just want to clear the air that the intention is not to prevent the underage from coming into their facilities; it's just to ensure that the underage are not drinking under the supervision of a parent or spouse," said Maharath. 

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COLUMBUS — The Ohio Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee had its first hearing on a bill that would prohibit anyone younger than 21 years old from entering a bar in Ohio.

Senate Bill 115 also would apply to breweries, micro-distilleries and wineries. Under current law, people under 21 years of age may enter such an establishment, but businesses are barred from serving them.

“Current Ohio Law allows people under the age of 21 to possess and consume alcohol under the supervision of a parent, guardian or spouse,” state Sen. Tina Maharath, D-Columbus, said in prepared testimony. “The purpose of this legislation is to eliminate those exceptions.”

The states of Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia and Pennsylvania do not have exceptions to underage alcohol possession or consumption, according to Maharath.

“Underage drinking is the most prevalent form of substance abuse among our youth,” Maharath added. “It is a dangerous behavior that can lead to tragic accidents and varying health problems. Research shows that the longer children delay drinking and drug use, the less likely they are to develop problems associated with it.”

— Story courtesy of The Center Square.