Seeing a sign that advertises “Ice Cold Beer!” doesn’t seem wrong . . . unless you’re at a middle school band concert.  (And even then . . .)  But Tennessee wants to make it taboo.


Two Republican lawmakers have introduced a bill that would ban the sale of “refrigerated or cold beer” in Tennessee.


It’s already cleared two hurdles in the state, and is now headed to committee, where it will be debated.  If it passes this stage, it will head to a final vote.


If you’re thinking this seems strange, it IS trying to tackle an important issue.


The goal is to curb drunk driving and reduce deadly crashes involving alcohol.  Drinking and driving is already illegal in Tennessee, but open container laws DO allow those traveling in vehicles to imbibe.


The bill seems pretty vague at this point . . . at least the version that’s been released publicly . . . but it specifically mentions beer sold “at retail.”  So we’re assuming bars, restaurants, and venues could still SERVE cold beer.


Which some might argue is a BIGGER contributor to driving under the influence than beer sold at gas stations, grocery stores, and breweries.


The lawmakers are looking to address that too.  They’d like to see caps on the number of drinks a place will serve . . . when a person can’t prove that they have a designated driver.


(WKRN / The Tennessean / The Hill)


(Some local breweries say this could be “devastating” because their beer requires refrigeration because it’s fresh and unpasteurized.)


(Others say that this penalizes people who buy fresh beer . . . to take home so they DON’T drink it somewhere, and then drive home.)


(But the lawmakers say there’s evidence that people are drinking and driving, immediately after buying cold beer.  They say there are beer cans littered all along the side of the roads . . . and INSIDE the cars of vehicles that have been involved in crashes.)