This March, armed Pennsylvania State Police bravely raided three popular bars in Philadelphia.
They confiscated liquors that allegedly had not been properly registered with the state Liquor Control Board. Brewers and importers must pay a $75 registration for each separate potable they sell in the state.
Some unnamed concerned citizen had complained. The three bars were affiliated, so maybe a resentful competitor had something to do with it.
According to the owners, many of the confiscated ales had been duly registered. But when the state police couldn’t instantly confirm this, they just grabbed cases and kegs and towed them away.
Even in the case of unlicensed ales, what is the virtue of raiding a bar to sloppily “check” their status and then steal supplies? Especially when it’s not the bar owners who are legally obligated to register the brands?
Some clerk could have just dropped by, inspected the booze, asked a few questions. Or just called the brewery and said, “Hey, you forgot to register such-and-such.”
Of course, the whole idea of requiring separate registrations of each separate beverage is silly to begin with.
Further, the state police could have, and should have, simply declined this wrongheaded mission.
Apparently we can’t count on better lawmaking and better, more sensible regulations. But we do count on our police.
This is Common Sense. (Let’s practice it.) I’m Paul Jacob.