Monday, January 7, 2013
Johnny Manziel at a bar at age 20 with his parents: Can he do that?
Bet you didn't know that.
DALLAS Following a flurry of Internet comments after 20-year-old Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was spotted twice at the 21-and-up Avenu Lounge in Uptown, we set out to explain what an underage person is allowed to do in a Texas bar.
Can Manziel, who is under the age of 21, lawfully drink in an over-21 establishment? Yes, according to Chapter 106 of The Alcoholic Beverage Code, as long as he has an adult parent, court-appointed guardian, or legal-age spouse who is "visibly present." The bar supervisors also have to allow the parent to serve the underage person -- and can turn away a minor and his or her parent if they choose.
According to TMZ, Manziel's mom and dad were with him both nights at Avenu Lounge. If that is true, neither Manziel nor his parents broke the law.
Even more surprising, perhaps, is that the definition of "minor" in Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission code is not assigned an age minimum. "Minor" only refers to someone who is under 21 years old. So, the rule that Manziel can be inside a bar and possess alcohol at age 20 also applies to any minor who has a parent present, regardless of age.
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"Generally, bars enforce their own entrance code," said Captain Mark Menn of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Most bars choose an 18- or 21-and-up policy, but that's a "marketing decision" and not a TABC law. Avenu Lounge states on their website it is a 21-and-up establishment.
Manziel defended his behavior, saying he does the same things he would've before he won the Heisman and was catapulted to the national spotlight. "It's hard to watch some of the stuff that people say to you when you take a picture or you do some stuff or you're at these games or whatever," he said in a recent story. "It's tough to sit back, and you can't really defend yourself regardless of how much you want to scream out, 'I've been doing this forever. This is nothing new for me.'"
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