You can still serve your kids booze, but barely

The Virginia General Assembly has sent the governor a bill that clarifies the law that allows parents to serve alcohol to minors. The law already requires that the parent or guardian of any drinking minor be present., but HB 1293, introduced by Roanoke Republican Bill Cleaveland, stipulates that such drinking must occur in the home of the provider.

Advocates of serving alcohol to minors point to Western Europe, where parents reportedly teach responsible drinking at home and where some nations have no drinking age at all. The United States, by contrast, has one of the highest legal drinking ages in the Western world, based on the theory that drinking and driving go hand-in-hand.

In other alcohol news, Virginia legislators appear to have shot down bills (1, 2, 3) that would have fulfilled the governor's promise to privatize the the state-owned liquor, or ABC, stores. However, the lawmakers did pass a measure that would allow the ABC stores to hold free tastings.



To quote: " your ability to understand does not make you right."

I am glad you get that. Too bad you can't apply it to yourself.

Public Drunkenness is only a crime because we have an ordinance that makes it so. Some group of citizens had to pass. Were they whiners too for trying to get it passed? It seems you think they must have been.

Noise over certain volumes is currently a crime in Belmont and the NCC districts. In areas zoned R-1, it is 55dbs between 11PM and 6AM. Between 6Am and 11PM it is 65dbs. In the section zoned NCC 75dbs is the limit for restaurants. Violating the noise ordinances is a 4th class misdemeanor the first time.

If those restaurants are making so much noise they are over 55dbs in the residenital areas, then residents are not whiners, they are calling in to report a crime. After all, they can't make the noise, why should another establishment get to ?

That's why the ordinance is being reviewed. It's unfair to hold people in the same area to different standards, especially if people are being hurt by it.

Calling them whiners for following the law, or calling to modify a law that isn't working is the epitome of childishness. It IS also hypocritical if you choose to support another law change that was made,- in this case the drinking age from 18-21 - because you feel 18 doesn't work.

Just because you don't like the changing ordiancne doesn't make the complainers whiners. Theya re especially not whiners if the law is being broken.

The police got Bel Rio at 90 decibels. 15 over the legal limit of 75. They committed a crime.

quote: "The police got Bel Rio at 90 decibels. 15 over the legal limit of 75. They committed a crime."

The numders are insane. I have a diesel that makes that much noise if sitting in front of Bel Rio and idling.

Penelope, the residents in belmont were there LONG before Bel Rio showed up, so they have a right to complain. I think one lady said she had been there for almost 40 years, longer than you have been alive.

They have a right to complain, just like people who live in an area before an airport is built have a right to complain.

I'm sorry, your labeling and arguments are all based on your own silliness and complete ignorance over what happened.

The residents were there first. It's that simple.


If you have a diesel that makes that much noise idling then it breaks the law. get a new muffler. I have a big 1 ton dually with 350k, and it most certainly does not make 90dbs idling.

People in Belmont do not live next to a bus station, and they also did not expect to be living next door to a club, because the NCC zoning does not allow for it. So now, they have to have an ordinance to make it clear that the establishments are not to operate as clubs.

I had a old Chevy that used to speed at a high rate without me really knowing why. But to find out just had to recall the Budweisers!

Since my wife works midnight shift, I fall asleep on the couch watching TV more often than not. I doubt your sitting out front would bother me. :)

Nope, your argument does not hold muster...

1) if bel rio violated the law then they deserve a ticket. I never said they should defy the law. I said that people who think that that 55db should be the law are whiners. THe council compromised at 65 and I said I thought it was fair. I said this because I am a aware hoe LOW 55db is. (normal conversation)

2) "binge drinkng" is not a side issue of 18 year old drinking is is a primary issue and worthy of debate, just like 90db would be a "primary" issue in Belmont at 11:00 pm. I fail to see any hypocracy but I will accept that maybe I just lack the ability to understand your idea of what hypocracy is.

3)I called the people calling for 55db whiners the same as I would call someone living near the airport complaining about the noise whiners. I still think that they were willing to restrict others property rights in order to deal with their own shortcomings. (the inability to sleep with some background noise) If I wanted to pass a law that others could not drink because I get too nervous to drive knowing there might be a drunk driver on the road I would be a whiner. I did not call them whiners for trying to gat a law changed, I called them whiners for trying to get a law changed that benefits only them at many others expense. Perhaps I should have used the word selfish instead.

4) I think that keeping the drinking age at 21 and looking for additional solutions for binge drinking and alcohol abuse is the proper course of action. I don't think people who disagree with me are whiners.

5) I didn't get enough sex in high school but I don't whine about it.It may have been becuase I was a little nerdy or it may have been because the drinking age was 21 and I didn't have easy access to liquid courage. I sleep fine now though, despite the noise.


I live by a pretty simple of code of doing unto others...and I was trying to teach it, by using a bit of satire.I am sorry of you missed the point of what I was doing.

I was tired of listening to those unhappy with a little rowdy noise control calling people who disagreed with them whiners.

She is still doing it too, because she obviously doesn;t even understand the ordinance as written.

Bel Rio did violate the law. I have evidence. They showed it in council. They are getting a hearing for the second time for operating as a dance hall.

55 decibels is the legal sound level in a residential neighborhood, at the residential property line. Holding a business to the same standard - 55 decibels when noise reached the residential property line - is logical, rational and fair.

If you used your head, instead of just name calling, you would know that no one at Bel Rio has to hold a conversation at 55 decibels, because the sound will dissipate before it gets to the residential property line.

Now, do you have anything rational to offer other than name calling?

I think young females who want the drinking age to be 21 are just little whiners. 21 is too old because people get asked to kill for their countries at 18.

"The numders are insane. I have a diesel that makes that much noise if sitting in front of Bel Rio and idling."

Let me sit outside your house with music playing at 90 for an hour while you are trying to sleep.

Old timer, you had a great argument, until you started to personally attack Penelope.

Although I am opposed to drinking and have seen too many lives ruined by it, I do recall that when many state governments raised the drinking age from 18 to 21 years of age, it simply disabled people of that age range from attending nightclubs and left them on the streets with nothing to do.

This resulted in a surge in youth crime and drug addiction - especially cocaine and crack cocaine.

one of the reasons europe has a lower drinking and driving rate for teens is most teens in europe dont have cars. most use PT. most hang in city centers or small town centers with access to PT. PT has no stigma in Europe, here is a transportation system for poor people. kids in europe dont own cars anywhere near the level they do in the US.

the euro kids are not better in terms of getting in trouble, they simply drive much much less.

Angela = the last Polly Anna! funny

I have two kids, 17 and 7. They are good kids but they are already dealing with enough "stuff" to distract them from doing the right things and potentially not achieving their "best life". I agree completely with the legal drinking age of 21 and if it keeps them out of "the club" for a few more years, what is the harm? If a lack of positive or age appropriate things to do is an issue, work on THAT ISSUE, don't just let them drink because there is nothing else to do! I drink occasionally, but I did not start drinking until I was 21. It was a big day for me!!! The anticipation of WAITING to do something made my 21st birthday even more exciting. Waiting, anticipating, looking forward to...those are not bad states to be in...

Angela is not pollyanna, she has a very valid point. If anyone "needs" to get smashed to have a good time then you are doing it wrong. Part of the reason that they went back to 21 nationally had to do with the fact that many 18 year olds were in high school and were buying alcohol for 15 year olds. So now at least it is a little more difficult for a 15 year old to get alcohol.

We have a culture where binge drinking is acceptable. Untill we deal with that then it will contiue to get worse.

Maybe the kids drink because life is too hard having to deal with all of the features on their Iphone and the guys have extra time because they don't have to read the book (playboy) they just watch the movie (youporn).


The minute you start making petty personal attacks on people who do exercise their legal rights and take action, just because you happen to disagree, you prove you have no argument. They called the police over public drunkenness which is usually associated with public noise. Get rid of the public noise, and you will stop a lot of the public drunkenness because the establishment providing the alcohol won't be so attractive to binge drinkers.

The change in the drinking age from 18 to 21 was done by people exercising their legal rights and taking action, using evidence based on certain facts in exactly the same manner.

Because you support those actions and resulting laws because you see side issues like ' binge drinking', and happen to agree, is what makes you a hypocrite. It doesn't make you right.

Maybe what I and everyone who disagrees with you and Angela should do is just spend our time ridiculing you as a tetotalling nanny state goodie goodies who didn't get enough sex and wer unpopular as an 18 year old, and that is why you support the 21 year old age limit. Binge drinking has nothing to do with it. You are just an angry jealous fat nerds that never got invited out to have some brews your freshman year in college and now all you do is whine about it.

I am sick of unpopular losers whining and about the drinking age.

If you don't like it, then maybe you should just move to some city into some counties in GA or Tennessee where the selling of alcohol is entirely banned, but sex is allowed.

Or, you could stop acting like the petty little spoiled girl, and start dealing with facts head on. If you can't act with respect for someone else's home, property, and lives, then a rule has to be passed to force it.

Gasbag, if you have a 90 decibel diesel, you should be in the Monster Truck show tonight at JPJ arena.


See, there's that word whining again. You still haven't figured it out, have you? You just keep spinning and spinning in the same little circles, unwilling to accept the little facts you can't understand, thus reverting to pettiness an illogical statements.

Can you sleep with someone having a conversation right by your bed at night? How about if a few people come an sit next to you and have loud conversations at 60 dbs? What if they play their radio in your bedroom with bass tones every night, at about 65 dbs? Can you sleep through that too?

I think not.

Compared of a random population sample, how probable do you think it is that the people complaining about the noise coming from one establishment between 11PM and 2 AM all have sleep disorders? What about the other business owners unhappy with it? Do they have sleep disorders too? Whats the probability that the further away you get from the problem area that the number of the sleep disorders decline within that population? What the Pavilion first opened, do you think all of downtown the children who couldn't sleep suddenly had sleeping disorders? What about in the houses where the floors shook? Did those people have sleep disorders too? And then when the volume was finally forced down, were those with sleep disorders suddenly cured? I mean, they still live near AC units, don't they?

Or is there perhaps a statistical correlation going on here, where the relationship between between those with sleep disorders, and their proximity to loud late night vibrations and crashing sounds, similar to those that our minds are trained to think of as danger?

45 dbs is the level which the EPA now recognizes as the highest level possible before necessary things like sleep are disrupted.The reason why 55dbs in residential areas work so well is because that pretty much makes sure it will be at 45dbs in the house. 45 dbs is not silence by the way, and if you think it is, then you have a hearing disorder. Trust me, when people talk in normal tones in the street in front of my house at 1AM, I can hear every word they are saying.

As far as the development thing, I suggest you take a long look at why we in Virginia passed a Constitutional amendment over imminent domain.

spin it

"The United States, by contrast, has one of the highest legal drinking ages in the Western world, based on the theory that drinking and driving go hand-in-hand."

So wouldn't the obvious solution be to raise the DRIVING age rather than the drinking age? If you know what it's like to be alcohol-impaired before you ever try to operate a motor vehicle, you're a lot more likely to understand that the two don't mix.

Also, teen drivers are much more likely to be involved in accidents. This has been show to be linked to age rather than driving experience. In other words, people who are older when they learn to drive are safer drivers right from the start.

We're attacking the wrong end of this problem.

Anyone that thinks thier kid waits to drink untill 21 is living in a dream world. They way I look at it is if your old enough to die for your country.....well you're old enough to have a drink! I think if falls more on the parents. If you are going and getting "smashed" at any funtion where your child is present, then you are the one that is teaching your child how to be irresponsible. My parents always told me if I was drinking, not to drive. That they would pick me up where ever I was, no questions.

Agree with you, Mac, not that it is likely to happen. I think 18 would be reasonable for a full driving age, with provisions that training can start earlier. A lot of the problems with teenage drivers stem from lack of experience and training, not irresponsibility.
Also I understand that despite a lower drinking age,Western European countries have not have the massive drunk driving problem we have.. That would bear looking into.
Raising the driving age would have other benefits. Kids would not be driving to school, would be taking the bus like those of my generation did. Might even get some of them more accustomed to and accepting of using public transit.
But with the car culture that we have, this is not likely to happen.

I totally agree with Mac. Now how can we get it done?

The drinking age should be 19. At 19 you are out of high school and therefore less likely to purchase alcohol for a 15 year old. At 19 you are either in college or supporting yourself. If you are supporting yourself as an adult, it should be assumed that you are responsible to drink like one. If you are in college at 19, alcohol is readily available. The fact that it is illegal is just a trap to get kids into get into legal trouble. Having to disclose a "drunk in public" or a "alcohol possession" charge on a job application is silly.


So you support a higher drinking age? The 21 year age? Did it occur to you that with that binge drinking problem we get a noisy rowdy problem? The kind of strip tease drunk int eh streets behavior the Belmont residents were bother by at night?

Interesting how you decide those Belmont residents unhappy with binge drinking rowdiness outside their homes are whiners, but you support Angela and recognize there is a problem with certain types of behavior.

I think this country has a hypocrite problem too, well demonstrated by you.

IF you are predisposed to having a problem with alcohol, that problem will surface no matter what age the individual starts to use alcohol.This is not solely a matter of teaching a child/adolescent responsible drinking. It also consists of teaching them the signs of alcoholism. Have them recognize that if these symptoms do appear, they might not be able to drink at all. Teach them that it is ok to go through life without alcohol, and that many people do.
Any individual who drives under the influence of alcohol should sit down and take a look at there alcohol consumption. If you do not have the ability to make that decision as to drive or not to drive, you have a problem with alcohol that very rarely will get better.. You should not be using alcohol at all. Get some help.

I agree that the U.S. has a binge-drinking culture, but I think that having a high age limit actually makes that problem worse. One of the reasons (IMO) we have a binge-drinking culture is that we fetishize alcohol consumption: "oh, you have to be 21 before you can touch this magical, forbidden liquid, it's so very powerful and special that we reserve it for these people alone." Look at Angela's comment about turning 21 being a "big day" because it meant she could finally touch alcohol. That's fetishizing it -- making it into this Huge Thing. Which I think is just asking for people to abuse it (not Angela, clearly, but just as clearly lots of other people do.)

by contrast, what if alcohol was treated less reverentially as Super Magical Beverage, and more like a regular part of a meal or an occasional evening?

I think one of the problems here is that people associate drinking with getting "smashed." As a mother who allows her children to have an occasional alcoholic beverage, or portion thereof, I can say this can't be further from the truth. Instead this has allowed me the ability to TEACH my children (teens, I didn't allow more than a sip before 13) how to drink RESPONSIBLY, something that doesn't necessarily happen if they're doing it illegally or when they're 21 and under the influence of other young people. Additionally, I have been able to teach my children an appreciation of good wines and beers.

The result? Two of my children have quenched their curiosity and know they have no desire for it. They simply don't like it. My other child knows what he likes and doesn't, and has developed an appreciation for good wine. *I* know that when they all go out and are in situations where this will come up, they are far more likely to make good choices since I've taught them well and the mystery and "forbidden fruit" factors have been taken away.

The key here, however is that this allows us as parents to TEACH our children. The way it is now, far too often they experience it away from us, under the influence of other young people in situations where the goal IS to get smashed. For us NOT to be able to teach them how to handle something like this would be truly foolish.

Its doubtless correct that teens drive less in Europe. However, as I understand it, there is not the drunk driving problem for all ages like the one we have. Is it because of stiffer penalties? Perhaps a greater social stigma than here? It has changed, but the fact is that in years past drinking and driving was not seen as that big a deal. I once heard a story about a judge who went very lightly on drunk drivers. He said it was because so many times it could have so easily have been him that got caught!
There would definitely be advantages to a higher driving age. Schools would not have to provide student parking for one thing. And maybe just maybe a greater acceptance of public transit(as well as walking and cycling) would mitigate our society's addiction to the automobile.

old timer, your inability to understand does not make you right.

1) the people in Belmont should call the police and seek protection from people committinging the CRIME of public drunkeness.

2) the people of belmont who whine about the noise need to get laid once in a while and maybe, just maybe they woulldn't be so bothered by the noise from Bel Rio.

Hoolarius if they move the drinking age back to 18 then the "big day" you refer to will be celebrated by someone who has three less years of maturity under their belt and will be surrounded by friends who also have less maturity some of whom will most likley be 16 or 17.

I agree the culture needs to be changed. I just don't think lowering the drinking age is the wisest solution.

Penelope, I'm saying we need a culture of responsible drinking, of appreciation for the proper role of alcoholic beverages. Setting a "drinking age" of any kind, or legislating when and where parents can give their kids alcohol, just feeds into the forbidden-fruit syndrome. It shouldn't be a "big day" AT ALL, is my point. Was it a big day the day you had your first soda? Your first hamburger? If alcohol weren't in this special category, maybe we wouldn't go so nuts with it.

I see your point, Penelope, about lowering the drinking age meaning that some even more immature kids will abuse alcohol, but I think in the long-term we're not solving the problem by keeping the drinking age high.

Sex is not the answer to everything. It is a problem when music is blasting while trying to sleep.

Just wanted to point out that this article was about drinking alcohol not the noise limit......

My parents moved from Puerto Rico to the US before I was born. The drinking age is 18 in Puerto Rico but they will never card you. The US government actually withholds thousands of dollars a year from Puerto Rico because they won't change the drinking age (Yes, Puerto Ricans have to pay the same taxes you do by April 15). I remember being able to drink a beer or a glass of wine with dinner every once in a while when I turned 15. When I went to college I was one of the few people who went to parties and didn't get completely trashed. I was shocked! I quickly realized that it was everyone rebelling against their parents and the law. By my last year in college, most of my friends had matured and getting trashed was no longer the thing to do.

When we make something a taboo it increases the curiosity....

Caesonia,, so do the people at the top of the mountain have a right to stop people at the bottom from devloping their property because it destoys their view of the valley.. or do the people in the valley have the right to stop the guy at the top of the mountain from building because it detracts from their vista?

Under your scenario 64 would not have been built and UVA hospital would not have been allowed to receive helicopters to save lives.

I will repeat, it bel rio breaks the law write em up. That is the way it is supposed to work. I believe 55db is an unreasonable expectation because I looked up the sound levela of various items and found that the quietest household air conditioner on the market was 69db (at 4 feet)and they are outside of peoples houses 8 feet from their neighbors property line. You keep making the argument about different types of noise and it may have some validity but not enogh to sway my position.

I do think that the arguments brought forth costituted whining. If you need total silence to sleep you have a sleep disorder. 75% of the US population live in cities with subways and busses. They hear gunshots and diesel trucks and some even live overtop nightclubs.

Just because you have lived in a neighborhood does not give you seniority to decide what comes next. If that is what you had wanted you should have bought up all the lots and buffered yourself.
Zoning laws are fluid and need to respect all parties involved. That is why I am ok with the compromise.