Mixed Message: Why is BYOB okay at TC events, but not at restaurants?
By Rick Coates
Earlier this year when the Traverse City Police Department began enforcing a confusing Michigan statute on alcohol consumed at non-licensed establishments, mixed messages were sent throughout the community.
For instance, will stores be allowed to serve alcohol at the popular downtown Traverse City Mens Night (December 16), as has been the tradition in past years?
How about the tailgating with alcohol that takes place at every high school football game at Thirlby Field, also in the city limits? What about tailgating at Interlochen prior to concerts?
According to the interpretation of various Michigan statutes by officers of the Traverse City Police Department, all of these events would be a violation of Michigan laws, possibly resulting in a misdemeanor for the consumer and a felony for the establishment.
The legal underpinning is called consideration, which occurs whenever an establishment gives away or allows someone to bring alcohol onto their property when they are collecting money for an event, selling merchandise or a meal.