Alcohol

Arlington, Virginia May Ban Backyard Drinking Games

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A few years ago, Virginia's power-tripping alcohol control board cracked down on state bars and pubs that sponsored drinking games like beer pong. Naturally, young bargoers in Northern Virginia started playing the games in their backyards. So naturally, the city of Arlington may now ban them on private property, too.

Bluemont resident James Thorne said that, since the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) board banned drinking games (such as "beer pong") from bars and eateries, they have gravitated toward outdoor areas, such as outside local homes.

"It affects our quality of life," Thorne said of the resulting noise.

Thorne asked board members to consider an ordinance change that would give county police the ability to request that such drinking games be moved indoors.

Board members said the matter should be investigated.

"What people do in the privacy of their own homes is their business," board member Walter Tejada said. "When it spills out and affects the quality of the neighborhood . . . we have to take a look."

County Manager Ron Carlee said his staff would look into the matter, coordinate with police and come back with a report to board members.

Reader Patrick Semmens sent the story, and adds via email:

As far as I can tell, this is being pushed by just one person, my next door neighbor, who is the sole proponent quoted in the Sun Gazette's article.

For the past two years he has called the cops on my well-attended annual St.Patrick's Day party (and last year also the Virginia Alcohol Bureau), but much to his dismay drinking beer outside during the middle of the day (and playing drinking games) is not against the law.  So he is trying to change that by imposing a law on the 200,000 citizens of Arlington County.

Now an elected member of the Arlington County Board says they are looking into it, and the county manager is wasting time and money having his staff "investigate." A police captain was even dispatched to my house to talk about the proposed law.

The city already has noise ordinances to deal with any disturbance Semmens' parties may have caused Thorne. Banning drinking games on private property seems a bit ridiculous. Then again, so does the idea of banning them in bars.

Semmens has set up a website to prevent the idea from gaining momentum.

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  1. Son of a bitch. What is the matter with people. Arghsdlkjdf.

  2. All Your Backyard Are Belong To Us

  3. So naturally, the city of Arlington may now ban them on private property, too.

    I know that this is pedantic, but even though it’s treated as a municipality, Arlington is a fully unincorporated county (except for the portion of the [independent] city of Alexandria that covers what would otherwise be Arlington County land).

  4. Drinking games weaken our brother workers! We are now the stimulated mass, and we must begin acting like one!

  5. KEEP YOU LAWS OFF OF MY BOURBON!

  6. ???????????? Comrade Taktix?

  7. What is the difference between an unincorporated county and a municipality?

    I really have no idea, except that Stephen King writes alot about the former in his books.

  8. Tejada charged: lying to Congress about steroids:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090210/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/tejada_steroids_4

  9. Unincorporated counties have a higher incidence of ancient and lurking evils.

  10. I just emailed all five members of the Arlington board. If it really is just one wackjob if a few reasonable people email they will prob take note and act accordingly.

  11. Unincorporated counties have a higher incidence of ancient and lurking evils.

    Apparently serving on the county board.

  12. Unincorporated counties are parts of the county which arent in an incorporated city.

  13. What is the difference between an unincorporated county and a municipality?

    Practically, it may not mean anything. But, given Virginia’s very weird system of local political divisions, it may sometimes mean a lot. Maybe the best example is the Tidewater/Hampton Roads region, where a round of annexations during the mid-20th century resulted in today’s combination of independent cities that can include large sections of rural areas (e.g., Virginia Beach).

    (Full disclosure: I used to live in Rosslyn, which is one of the [unincorporated] communities in Arlington.)

  14. Everyone (and particularly Arlington residents)-
    Please do contact the board. Hopefully a little pressure will get them to quickly abandon this ridiculous idea. The contact info for board members is here:
    http://www.noboozeban.org/?page_id=13

  15. Unincorporated counties have a higher incidence of ancient and lurking evils.

    If you were incorporeal you’d be evil too.

  16. Nah, mostly I’d just watch people have sex.

  17. Unincorporated counties are parts of the county which [aren’t] in an incorporated city.

    On a related note, Kentucky has two of the primary examples of consolidated city/county governments.

  18. Give me beer pong or give me death!

  19. Unincorporated counties are parts of the county which arent in an incorporated city.

  20. Unincorporated counties are parts of the county which arent in an incorporated city.

    In Virginia, *no* part of a county is within an incorporated city. When a city is formed, its territory ceases to be part of the county. A book published by the University of Virginia Institute of Government in the early 70s (“A Body Corporate”) tried to explain how it happened that cities came to be independent of their counties, and it seems to have happened more or less by accident some time between the Civil War and 1900. (As the book explains, West Virginia, carved out of Virginia in 1863, doesn’t have independent cities, indicating that Virginia cities were part of their surrounding counties before the War.)

    Towns, on the other hand, *are* part of the county. The 1971 constitution tried to define towns as incorporated municipalities with population of 5,000 or less, while cities were those with population of more than 5,000, but that doesn’t reflect practice, where towns like Vienna (in Fairfax County) have populations much greater than 5,000, or of cities like Norton (in the Southwest), which became independent cities back when they had populations over 5,000, but whose population has fallen below 5,000 more recently.

  21. “What people do in the privacy of their own homes is their business,” board member Walter Tejada said. “When it spills out and affects the quality of the neighborhood . . . we have to take a look.”

    “What children do in the privacy of their home is their business,” old codger J sub D said. “When it spills out and affects the quality of the neighborhood … we have to take a look.”

    Fucking puritan asshole. Fucking spineless politicians.

    Oh well, it’s just one more data point in support of my assertation that Americans are too stupid for self government.

  22. Wow, I grew up in the next neighborhood over. There used to be a simple rule to avoid having your neighbors complain about a party – invite them to it.

    Mr. Thorne seems to be a bit of a prick.

  23. Geographically, Arlington is really small, less than the area of D.C. It’s the smallest county in the US that’s not a leper colony.

  24. Americans are too stupid for self government.

    Hey, now!

  25. Geographically, Arlington is really small, less than the area of D.C. It’s the smallest county in the US that’s not a leper colony.

    Kolohe,

    According the the Census Bureau, Arlington (26 sq. .mi) is only half the size of Kalawao (52 sq. mi.) but then only 13 sq. mi. of that are land so Kalawao definitely is the smallest by land area. Well, sort of. Unless of course you go by Census Bureau “county or county equivalents” in which case the smallest is, coincidentally, Arlington’s neighboring independent city of Falls Church, at 2 sq. mi.

    Geographically, Arlington is really small, less than the area of D.C.

    And as long as we’re talking county trivia, Arlington County, as can be seen on a map, is the part of Virginia that used to be part of the District of Columbia. Well, mostly, as a very small portion of former DC territory is in, per Seamus above, the independent city of Alexandria.

  26. So, this guy lives next to someone who’s not content with being the neighbor from hell, he wants to be the neighbor from hell to the entire county?

    Fuck Carrie Nation and all of her descendants.

    -jcr

  27. People are so weird. I don’t get it; why would anyone want to be such a control freak? Why do people like imposing their will on others? I have no comprehension.

    Oh, “All Your Backyard Are Belong To Us”=win.

  28. Is Arlington the city that’s getting unmanned drone planes? If so, I think I now know the reason why…

  29. Arlington (my current place of residence) is yuppie NIMBYism in almost its purest concentrated form. It’s what you get when you place a high number of overpaid lawyers who need to get a life into a small geographic area.

    Of course, a sizable portion of the county has problems with Salvadoran gang violence that warrant actual police attention. I’m sure that beer pong raids won’t detract from this…

  30. Of course, a sizable portion of the county has problems with Salvadoran gang violence that warrant actual police attention. I’m sure that beer pong raids won’t detract from this…

    Oh but surely this must be happening only in South Arlington.

  31. You know, on second thought, I like this law.

    I propose every county bordering D.C. enact this law and pretty much every other draconian law we can find.

    The greater D.C. area shold be the most miserable, law-ridden, oppresive place in the country. Perhaps then we’d be able to get some freedom from those fucks…

  32. I propose every county bordering D.C. enact this law and pretty much every other draconian law we can find.

    In order to be successful with this, you’d likely have to start with Fairfax County–which technically (thanks to Arlington and Alexandria) doesn’t border the District. šŸ˜‰

  33. In order to be successful with this, you’d likely have to start with Fairfax County–which technically (thanks to Arlington and Alexandria) doesn’t border the District. šŸ˜‰

    Speaking as someone who grew up in Fairfax County before fleeing for my very life and sanity, I can only offer one solution: scour the earth clean with fire and sow the ground with salt.

    But maybe I have an extreme view.

  34. James Thorne is a douche. Get out of my country you brainless moron.

  35. And as long as we’re talking county trivia, Arlington County, as can be seen on a map, is the part of Virginia that used to be part of the District of Columbia.

    Which is why, when Robert E. Lee received his appointment to West Point, it was as a resident of “Alexandria, D.C.” (The letter from Secretary of War John C. Calhoun can be read at Lee’s boyhood home in the City of Alexandria (which at the time was still part of the County of Alexandria.)

    In order to be successful with this, you’d likely have to start with Fairfax County–which technically (thanks to Arlington and Alexandria) doesn’t border the District. šŸ˜‰

    Until the District of Columbia was formed, what’s now Arlington County and the city of Alexandria were part of Fairfax County, of which Alexandria was the county seat. (At that time, the county seat was moved to Providence, which was later known as Fairfax Court House and is now the City of Fairfax.)

    When D.C. was set up, the Virginia portion was organized as Alexandria County. When that portion was retroceded to the Commonwealth in 1846, it became Alexandria County, Virginia. In 1917, the name was changed to Arlington County because people were getting the county and the city confused.

    (As you can tell, I remember my seventh-grade Arlington County history class. None of which, I admit, has more than a tangential bearing on the subject of this post, which is how the county has been taken over by busybody Bolsheviks.)

  36. This is completely rediculous and disgusting.. the youth in this county is severely oppressed. these poor adults work to hard and their happiness rests on a hair. arlington is a shameful police state.

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