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Alcohol isn't good idea for town of Waukesha youth ballfields

May 13, 2014

You're not alone if you find yourself scratching your head about the Waukesha Town Board's recent decision to allow the sale of alcoholic beverages at Infinity Fields youth baseball complex.

The town board voted narrowly last week to allow the sale, primarily of beer, during events at the facility located off of West Les Paul Parkway.

We don't have to look any further than the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association or the National Collegiate Athletic Association, both of which prohibit sale of alcoholic beverage at their youth sporting events, to ask why would we want to tempt fate with such an ill-conceived measure.

Proponents argue that people expect to have a beer or two when they travel, sometime from out of state, so why not make this destination hospitable to them. A couple of beers never hurt anybody, right?

We suspect that selling alcohol is a boon to fundraising at the newly built diamonds and might be necessary to help balance the budget, but we have to question whether putting the youth sports and drinking together is the sensible solution.

We're not opposed to responsible drinking and teaching children properly, but you're just inviting trouble at these kind of events. Imagine overzealous sports parents whose behavior was already over the top, and now it might be fueled by such an accelerant. What about that dad who might have had to drive 200 miles to get home after the tournament, and maybe had one too many and gets in an accident or falls asleep at the wheel? And what about those mischievous kids who find a way to coax a mom into buying them a few beers for them?

If people act responsibly, certainly none of this would ever happen. But the town board can act responsibly, too. In the insurance world this might be known as an attractive nuisance. Mixing children and alcohol is almost never a good idea. It's a shame that town board did not nip this idea in the bud. We're down to the last line of defense, hoping that thousands of parents who use this facility and thousands of kids who do the same will do what is best. If our elected leaders did not know enough to do the right thing, frankly, the odds leave us feeling very nervous.

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