Keg registration laws

Beer keg registration laws require unique identifiable markers on returnable kegs of beer sold for private use. Keg registration laws can be implemented at both the local and state level, often as part of a multi-component approach to underage drinking. Laws vary by state, but may require recording of the purchaser’s name and address, date of birth, and intended use of the keg, as well as date of sale, keg registration number, information regarding penalties for careless or illegal use, and signature acknowledging penalties for illegal use ().

Expected Beneficial Outcomes (Rated)

  • Reduced impaired driving

  • Reduced underage drinking

Other Potential Beneficial Outcomes

  • Reduced excessive drinking

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is insufficient evidence to determine whether keg registration laws decrease underage drinking and drinking and driving by minors (Child Trends-Sacks 2014, Ringwalt 2011, ). Available evidence suggests that states that have more stringent alcohol control and underage drinking policies, including keg registration laws and regulations, may have less binge drinking (Wechsler 2008) and fewer drunk driving traffic fatalities among youth than states with less stringent laws (, , RAND-Imm 2007). However, keg registration laws alone may not decrease adolescents’ per capita beer consumption, binge drinking, driving after drinking, or likelihood of riding with someone who has been drinking (Ringwalt 2011).

Impact on Disparities

No impact on disparities likely

Implementation Examples

As of 2014, thirty-one states and Washington, DC had keg registration laws (APIS-Keg registration).

Implementation Resources

UMN-AEP - University of Minnesota Alcohol Epidemiology Program (UMN-AEP). Alcohol control policy descriptions.

APIS-Keg registration - Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS). Retail sales: Keg registration.

Iowa-Keg registration - State of Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (IowaABD). Keg registration.

Citations - Evidence

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RAND-Imm 2007 - Imm P, Chinman M, Wandersman A, et al. Preventing underage drinking: Using Getting To Outcomes™ with the SAMHSA strategic prevention framework to achieve results. Santa Monica: RAND Corporation; 2007: Technical Report 403.

Ringwalt 2011 - Ringwalt CL, Paschall MJ. The utility of keg registration laws: A cross-sectional study. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2011;48(1):106-8.

Fell 2009* - Fell JC, Fisher DA, Voas RB, Blackman K, Tippetts AS. The impact of underage drinking laws on alcohol-related fatal crashes of young drivers. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. 2009;33(7):1208-19.

Fell 2008* - Fell JC, Fisher DA, Voas RB, Blackman K, Tippetts AS. The relationship of underage drinking laws to reductions in drinking drivers in fatal crashes in the United States. Accident Analysis & Prevention. 2008;40(4):1430-40.

Wagenaar 2005* - Wagenaar AC, Harwood EM, Silianoff C, Toomey TL. Measuring public policy: The case of beer keg registration laws. Evaluation and Program Planning. 2005;28(4):359–67.

Wechsler 2008 - Wechsler H, Nelson TF. What we have learned from the Harvard School Of Public Health College Alcohol Study: Focusing attention on college student alcohol consumption and the environmental conditions that promote it. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. 2008;69(4):481-90.

Child Trends-Sacks 2014 - Sacks VH, Moore KA, Ramirez AN, Terzian MA. An analysis of state underage drinking policies and adolescent alcohol use. Washington, DC: Child Trends; 2014:40.

Citations - Implementation Examples

* Journal subscription may be required for access.

APIS-Keg registration - Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS). Retail sales: Keg registration.

Date Last Updated

Aug 18, 2015