VA Appellate Court Strikes Down Alcohol Ads in Student Papers

A Virginia appellate court has re-instituted a ban on alcohol advertisements in college newspapers, according to a report in Virginia Tech’s Collegiate Times. The Fourth Circuit’s 2-1 decision reverses an earlier district court ruling which found that these bans were illegal. The ban was initially put in place in 2006 by the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control, and the new ruling represents the latest development in a long legal battle. The majority opinion read, “Though the correlation between advertising and demand alone is insufficient to justify advertising bans in every situation … here it is strengthened because ‘college student publications’ primarily target college students and play an inimitable role on campus.”

According to the Collegiate Times, the lone dissenting opinion appealed to the First Amendment: “In free speech cases, it is dangerous and unwise to sustain broad regulations for narrow reasons.”

What do you think is the appropriate policy? Let us know by leaving your feedback in the comments.

One Response to “VA Appellate Court Strikes Down Alcohol Ads in Student Papers”

  1. Edwin Says:

    The drinking age must be lowered to 18 along with alcohol education and licensing. The Virginia Apellate court has done wrong by having re-instituted a ban on alcohol advertisement in university and college newspapers. The dissenting opinion is correct in that free speech can’t be restricted because of the ageist drinking age. Anyone 18 and over is an adult and as an adult, must have access to all advertisement content. The majority opinion by that court is one that justifies an erosion of free speech.