A beer-keg registration ordinance adopted by Red Bank in May is on tap for revocation tonight, following a little-publicized rejection of the law by the state Alcoholic Beverage Control.


The borough’s ordinance was similar to ones passed in Belmar, Freehold, Matawan and elsewhere in the state. It required liquor stores to permanently tag beer kegs and to keep information about customers who lease them. The aim was to reduce the incidence of underage drinking parties.

The ABC, however, saw the town-by-town approach as too piecemeal and unworkable.

According to an Oct. 7 article in he Burlington County Times, the ABC director Jerry Fisher found that such ordinances “crossed the line” into the realm of statewide regulation or legistlation.

“It does not matter how precisely a keg registration ordinance is drafted. No ordinance will be proper and effective, because the ordinance will lack uniform enforcement. Thus, the registration of beer kegs is a matter that must be addressed on a statewide basis, either through agency regulation or legislative enactment,” Fischer wrote in an opinion released Tuesday [Oct. 2] on the permissibility of such ordinances under New Jersey law.

The announcement comes more than a year after Riverside passed a keg registration ordinance. Fischer used Riverside’s ordinance and similar measures passed in Belmar and Freehold to formulate his opinion on the matter.

Liquor retailers who violated the Red Bank ordinance would be liable for fines of up to $2,000 and stints in jail up to 90 days. Borough Attorney Tom Hall tells redbankgreen that he is unaware of any prosecutions for violations of the ordinance.

Download keg_ordinance_200717.pdf

Download keg_revocation_111207.pdf

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