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Booze Barrister Dedicated to Presenting the Independent Voice of Today’s News

Introducing the Booze Barrister, an online publication dedicated to presenting the independent voice of today’s news through coverage of alcohol, cannabis, and other industry-related news. This week on Booze Barrister:

Ottawa eyes tougher blood-alcohol limits

Traffic injury researchers say they aren’t convinced lowering the legal blood-alcohol limit will keep drunk drivers off the road.

Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has been floating the idea of changing the law to only allow 0.05 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, down from the current limit of 0.08 milligrams. In a letter to provincial ministers, Wilson-Raybould said the change would help keep drunk drivers off the road, but an Ottawa-based traffic fatality expert says it may not be that simple.

“A lot of the drinking drivers in fatal crashes, more than half of them, have a BAC (blood-alcohol concentration) of 0.16, so double the legal limit,” said Robyn Robertson, president of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation.

Utah liquor laws prohibit drinking while watching ‘Book of Mormon’ musical

 “The Book of Mormon” musical has returned, this time playing in the new Eccles Theater, located a block from Temple Square.

But patrons will have to chug their beer, because Utah liquor laws prohibit them from bringing it into the theater for this particular show. State law prohibits liquor licensees from serving alcohol and showing anything with nudity or depicting sexual acts.

Guns or medical marijuana? Patients may have to choose

Every gun buyer fills out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosive’s form 4473. It asks nine questions about your life like if you’re under indictment, have been convicted of stalking, a fugitive from justice, or mentally defective?

Question 11E asks if you are an unlawful user of, or addicted to marijuana. It comes with this warning: Marijuana is still illegal under Federal law, no matter what your state has done.

Gun dealers say a person legally prescribed marijuana and telling the truth would not be sold a gun.

“If you check box 11E, basically it rejects my form, and I don’t allow you to purchase a gun,” said Jaime Chamberlain, a gun dealer.

Supreme Court’s next big gun control case? Post-Newtown laws face new scrutiny

Andrew Turner suffers from partial paralysis in his dominant hand, the legacy of an injury to his right arm while on active duty in the Navy – which is why, according to court papers, the Maryland resident needs a semiautomatic gun to defend himself.

The state’s 2013 Firearm Safety Act, however, bars the sale of semiautomatic rifles like the popular AR-15 and AK-47, and sets a 10-round limit on magazines. The law could be at the center of the next big precedent-setting gun case if the Supreme Court takes up a challenge from Turner and others.

“We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will reverse this egregious decision,” Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement.

The Maryland law is one of a host of gun control measures passed in the wake of the 2012 Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre – and, if taken up, the case could have sweeping implications for like-minded states in the gun control debate.

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The Author

Robert Lewis

Robert Lewis

Robert F. Lewis focuses his practice on the laws governing alcohol industry members at all three tiers as well as tobacco, and other regulated products. Rob has accumulated over 25 years of experience in the alcohol industry including previously serving in law enforcement and as a special agent with the State of Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco. Rob’s experience includes working with foreign and domestic alcohol industry clients in a wide variety of issues including alcohol licensing and structuring of alcohol service operations, alcohol trade practice analysis and consulting, defending regulatory enforcement actions as well as state and federal investigations of alcohol industry members, administrative litigation, land use and zoning analysis and approval processes, and state and local government lobbying efforts. Rob has also served as an expert witness on matters relating to alcohol beverage law and administrative code provisions in Florida.

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