Pint-size legislation unneeded

Recently, Lansing lawmakers announced that they are taking up a fight with the bars, pubs and other alcohol servers of Michigan.
Nov 5, 2013

A House bill introduced earlier this month would make it so bars and restaurants would not be allowed to advertise the sale of a glass of beer as a pint unless it contains precisely 16 ounces of beer.

While the premise might seem simple — see to it that the customer gets what they’re paying for — it seems like this is just a case of skunky legislation.

That is because there already exists a law to regulate the size of our favorite adult beverage.

According to the state, drinkers who think their beer serving doesn’t measure up can actually file a complaint through Michigan's Weights and Measures Act. The state uses standards used nationally that define a pint as exactly 16 fluid ounces.

It is a violation to sell less than the amount that is being represented, and state inspectors can bring “official” glassware that measures 16 ounces. They then can fill this, pour the liquid into the bar’s glass and see if it measures up.

Why, then — with all of the other issues that are pressing this state — are lawmakers trying to regulate something that is already technically regulated? It seems like there should be plenty to do for lawmakers to come up with meaningful legislation that isn’t already on the books.

This whole thing seems like a waste of time, and we’d strongly encourage our elected officials in Lansing to take a look in the mirror and think about what the real issues are.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



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