The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation will bring suit against the Ohio Liquor Control Commission on Friday, May 25, 2001, alleging that new restrictions on the sale of beer violate the constitutional rights of Ohioans. The suit will be filed in United States District Court in Columbus. ACLU of Ohio Legal Director Raymond Vasvari will be available outside the Courthouse at Noon on Friday, May 25, 2001 to answer questions regarding the case.
The regulations at issue, adopted by the Commission in August 2000, require those who wish to purchase beer in quantities of five kegs or more to file an affidavit with the state, disclosing where and when the beer will be consumed and authorizing police to come upon the premises uninvited during the social event.
The suit is being filed on behalf of Scott Hooper, a neurobiologist and professor who was unwilling to sign away his privacy rights in order to make what is, for adults in Ohio, a lawful purchase. “The government is effectively asking me to sign away my privacy rights in exchange for the right to buy a few kegs of beer,” Professor Hooper said.
According to lawyers for the ACLU, that is exactly what the state is trying to do. “This rule forces law abiding adults to give up their privacy in order to buy beer for a wedding, a family reunion or a company picnic,” stated Jillian Davis, Staff Counsel for the Ohio ACLU. “Under our system, the government is not allowed to place unconstitutional conditions on the exercise of simple, lawful activities,” added Davis. The suit seeks a court order invalidating the registration regulation.