An advisory board in Iowa City has made a series of recommendations to help reduce alcohol abuse in the college town and the group suggests raising the price of alcohol by levying a city tax. The group also wants Iowa City bars to establish “beverage service policies” that clearly forbid binge drinking and spell out when someone should be cut off.
University of Iowa president David Skorton says the recommendations will likely help reduce the violence and vandalism that happens when people drink too much. “It’s a very difficult problem and there sure are no easy answers or silver bullets,” Skorton says.
Skorton also supports a city ordinance that would ban persons under the age of 21 from Iowa City bars. “I have no illusions about eliminating drinking among underage (people) or people who are above the legal drinking age, but I am very concerned that in this city, in this state at this time we have a problem with binge drinking,” Skorton says. “Any even incremental improvement that we can make may save someone’s life. It may actually permit someone to have a better quality of life by eliminating a chance of violence or rape or other problems.”
Skorton says he’s not a “tee-totaler” who’s trying to outlaw alcohol in Iowa City. Skorton says he’s merely trying to “take the edge” off the problem of binge drinking “that goes away beyond the responsible enjoyment of alcohol.” Skorton call the Alcohol Advisory Board’s report a “timely catalyst” that can “re-energize” a community discussion on how to reduce the harmful effects of excessive drinking.
Another Iowa college town — Ames — has a city ordinance which requires beer keg registration numbers to track the person who bought a keg that’s found to have supplied alcohol to minors.