Virginia Ban On Alcohol Ads In College Papers Overturned

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A federal judge has overturned Virginia’s decades-old ban on alcohol-related advertising in college newspapers, saying that the law violates the student publications’ right to free speech.

U.S. Magistrate Judge M. Hannah Lauck sided with the student newspapers at the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech, which said the restrictions of certain references to alcoholic beverages in print and online media hampered their ability to make money because they’ve had to turn down potential advertisers.

The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s rules were adopted in 1988 to curb underage student drinking, but Lauck ruled Monday that the department has failed to show that the ban reduced such behavior.

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