April 15, 2004
Beer bong ban update

It's time for a Beer Bong Ban Update (original post here).

NEW BRAUNFELS The City Council has taken the first step toward banning "beer bongs" on the Comal and Guadalupe rivers, instructing City Attorney Charlie Zech to draft an ordinance targeting the drinking devices.

Council members have complained that inner-tubers use the bongs a long hose with a funnel attached to get drunk as quickly as possible, marring the family-friendly atmosphere the city strives to maintain on the rivers.

Mayor Adam Cork said he has mixed feelings on the issue. Although he would like to keep the devices off the rivers, he does not like limiting individuals' rights. He said he would have to see the details of the ordinance before deciding whether to support it.

"I think everyone on the council wants to make sure it is clear that the river is an open place for families to come," Cork said.

"We want to keep that image, and beer bongs damage that," he said.


Debate at a meeting Tuesday night focused on a proposed requirement that beverages be drunk from their original factory container. But council members expressed concern that it would prevent people from making iced tea and bringing it along on a river float, or drinking wine, because glass containers already are banned.

(Emphasis mine.) So, like, would that make breast pumps illegal in New Braunfels? This could affect our future vacation plans. Hey, Schlitterbahn Galveston - hurry up already!

The Comal and Guadalupe rivers draw thousands of tourists who float on inner tubes and rafts during the summer.

Local officials have pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars a year into law enforcement and trash cleanups in an effort to control rowdy crowds.

Residents have complained of drunken, lewd and violent behavior on the rivers, but officials said the stepped-up law enforcement has had a big effect over the past few years.

I'm remembering some quote about enforcing the laws we already have instead of making new laws. Think that sentiment has ever been expressed in Comal County before?

Councilman Ken Valentine proposed the beer bong ban, saying their disappearance would be another step in the right direction.

"I'm just trying to make the river experience more positive for everyone," he said.

"Except for those damn dirty college kids," he did not add.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 15, 2004 to The great state of Texas | TrackBack


I think the words "original factory container" pretty much covers the breast pump issue. On the other hand, banning the drinking of breast milk from a beer bong would be fine with me.

Am I the only one who thinks "The Beer Bong Banners" would be a good name for a rock band? ;-)

Posted by: William Hughes on April 15, 2004 7:20 AM

I think there are really two legitimate sides to this issue. I've shared a river with a bunch of drunks and it seriously inhibits my enjoyment of it. I don't like to think that I'm a party-pooper. Indeed, I'd go ballistic if they wanted to ban alcohol altogether (as beer river floats are fun). Ideally, there'd be two rivers, one for rowdiness and the other for families. Absent that, a beer bong ban seems like a good compromise.

Posted by: R. Alex on April 15, 2004 11:18 AM

Alex, I think the key for me is in this passage: "Residents have complained of drunken, lewd and violent behavior on the rivers, but officials said the stepped-up law enforcement has had a big effect over the past few years."

Well, if stepped-up law enforcement has had a big effect, then what is the beer bong ban for? And if not, then why not? It seems to me that you can still cite people for being drunk and disorderly whether or not they used a beer bong to get that way. The marginal gain of this new law is unclear to me.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on April 15, 2004 12:50 PM

Thinking back on my days as a college student, my enjoyment of the river was more likely to be marred by the inevitable inclusion of at least one member of the tubing party who neglected to bring money/food/beer/cigarettes and who usually bummed all of the above from me. Could we ban that kind of thing too? Please?

As for banning the beer bong, all I can say is this: Kids, learn to shotgun a beer. There's a scene in the movie The Sure Thing that gives a pretty good how-to. "Original factory container"? Not a problem.

Posted by: FHC on April 15, 2004 12:53 PM

Yep, if every drink must come directly from "the factory," then only breast-feeding is going to be legal in New Braunfels.

When baby bottles are outlawed, only outlaws will have baby bottles.

Posted by: Tim on April 15, 2004 2:15 PM

It would be better to ban all alcohol from the rivers. Families could then enjoy their time on the Guadalupe and the Comal without having to worry about drunken cretins making fools of themselves and ruining family vacations.

Galveston and Fort Lauderdale banned alcohol and they now have a thriving family-friendly tourist industry. The idiot "city fathers" in New Braunfels who resist a ban should have the drunks urinating on their lawns, their daughters propositioned, their children cursed at and beer cans thrown into their yards. After a summer of this they would welcome a beer ban.

Posted by: John on April 24, 2004 12:29 PM

Beer Bong Ban? I say "Ridiculous!" Where I live the river calls for fun, sun, and beer, maybe those families looking for a fun, wholesome, beer ridden environment, should go to Disney World or something more family oriented, orone half of the river (lets say the beginning) you could have only families that way when people start out on the river they are not wasted at the beginning of their canoe trip then at the end have the cool fun havers with their beer bongs on the other half of the river. Whaddya say?

Posted by: Jenga Benga on July 1, 2004 4:29 PM

Did the "Beer Bong Ban" actually pass?

I am a female who loves to beer bing BUT, I know my limits... as do MOST of my friends. I am older than them, but they are between the ages of 21 and 24.

We go to the river to have fun, drink beer and just have an all out good time.

Anyway, I just wanted to know if it did indeed pass before I invest in one.


Posted by: Vanessa on August 16, 2004 3:41 PM

I think it's ridiculous to even think about banning alchohol or Beer Bongs on the river, I have been floating down the guadalupe since i was a little boy and i remember loving to go down the river with my uncle and brothers just laughing at all the older people getting drunk making fools of theirselves including my uncle and his friends and now that i'm old enough to drink its a lot more fun because your the one getting laughed at but its all worth it and i love taking my four hosed beer bong down the river and getting smashed, So i think it will take all the fun away.

Posted by: Josh on May 10, 2005 3:11 PM

I've floated the river twice down there, and have only seen a small minority of "families" (many of the "parents" had more liquor tied to the tube than me). Most of the patrons are college age kids relaxing for the summer. Does it seem anymore logical to ban rolling papers? No! I don't take my kids to the strip club for lunch- so why are we worrying about banning such things as garden hoses used to chug beer? Live and let live!

Posted by: d.b. russell on October 14, 2005 10:22 PM

I've floated the river a couple of times this month and to tell you the truth I find it quite amusing to see the college students get drunk. In the past 2 times that I've been down there I did not see many beer bongs at all.

Posted by: Adrian on June 28, 2006 8:05 AM

i think they should ban breast pumping

Posted by: beamer on November 16, 2006 1:16 PM