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Albuquerque Journal 

Law is law, but let common sense prevail


“The law is an ass,” as it is frequently both stupid and stubborn.

— Mr. Bumble, “Oliver Twist”

One is reminded of this observation by the Charles Dickens character when reading about the official clampdown by the state on the traditional glass of bubbly served up at Ann Matthews Bridal in Albuquerque after the bride-to-be selects her gown.

As reported by UpFront columnist Joline Gutierrez Kreuger, bridal shop owner Jason Jones thought the sounds of corks popping and crystal clinking was the perfect way to celebrate the occasion.

Alas, this kind of lawlessness cannot be tolerated in civil society — or so say the bureaucrats at the state Alcohol and Gaming Division.

To them, this toast was a possible felony violation of state law that prohibits “any person without a liquor license to sell, serve or permit the consumption of alcoholic beverages in his or her private establishment or private club.”

Cease and desist, they said, or face the consequences of the law.

OK. The law is the law, even if it can be an ass. But do we really need the state stamping out mini-celebrations like this one?

Jones theorizes a disgruntled bridal party member dropped the dime on him by calling the state — which perhaps couldn’t look the other way.

Then again, there is no aphrodisiac for a bureaucrat like the ability to exercise one’s authority.

Indeed, New Mexico has serious drug and DWI problems. But a champagne toast after deciding on a pricey purchase that symbolizes an important new phase in your life hardly seems like a new front in the battle against drugs and alcohol.

Perhaps lawmakers could fashion a narrow exception — since common sense has already failed.

— Albuquerque Journal


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