A federal judge has decided to support the ban of alcohol advertisements in the college newspapers. This mean that if the students of the University of Virginia are drinking alcohol, they will be doing it because they want to and not because of the persuasion of alcohol advertisements that are featured in The Cavalier Daily since those advertisements will no longer exist. Judge Hanna Lauck says that the college newspapers are not protected by the First Amendment rights and that the advertisements featured in the newspaper should be age appropriate. The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control was looking for a way to help prevent underage drinking, especially since it has become such a huge problem amongst college students. Because it is such a concern, Judge Lauck believed it was in the best interest to limit the types of advertisements that could be featured in the college newspapers.
The Editor-in-Chief for the Cavalier Daily, Matthew Cameron, has said, “We’re disappointed that the original ruling was upheld. I’m of the mind that the ban on alcohol advertisements is unconstitutional.” The state code in Virginia prohibits advertisements for alcohol in the college newspapers specifically for the reason that the vast majority of college students are under the age of 21. Court document stated that advertisements for restaurants would still be able to mention the fact that they sell beer, wine, or other alcoholic beverages on the premises. Lauck ruled, “While this regulation limits alcohol advertisements, it does not, nor does it tend to, restrict the length, content, or substance of noncommercial speech.”
It was just six years ago when the UVa’s of The Cavalier Daily decided to file a lawsuit against the ABC. They claimed that the restriction of such advertisements was in violation of the free speech rights for the newspaper. They also claimed that prohibiting such advertisements would cost the newspaper to lose out on a whole lot of advertisement revenue that they are able to generate from such advertisements. The Cavalier Daily is estimated to lose around $30,000 each year just from one alcohol advertisement being removed from one issue of the newspaper. However, the problem lies within the numbers. A large percentage of students at Virginia Tech had consumed alcohol between 2005 and 2006, even though the vast majority of these students were underage. It is expected that the ban of alcohol advertisements would help to reduce the percentage of students who are drinking alcohol. Other people bed to differ, believing that the advertisement has no type of effect on the amount of alcohol these students consume.