The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Commission held the first of four hearings Wednesday on changes in the liability insurance requirements for establishments that sell alcohol. It’s called the “dram shop law” and currently requires bars to carry a minimum bodily injury or death coverage of 10-thousand dollars per individual and five-thousand for loss of support. The proposed new minimum levels for bodily injury or death will be 50-thousand dollars per individual and 25-thousand dollars per individual for loss of support. Iowa Alcoholic Beverage Division’s Administrator Lynn Walding says the issue has been under review for several months. He says the amount of coverage required hasn’t been looked at in over three decades, so the commission decided to review the issue. Walding says the hearings will give business owners a chance to air their concerns. He says they’ve heard a number of concerns from the bar owners and the public.Walding says there’ll be a lot of talk about preventive action.He says the main focus will be how they can reduce the instances of dram to reduce drunk driving and the claims that bar owners have to pay. Walding says the commission is trying to find a level of dram insurance that’s fair to everyone.He says it’s a balance of protecting the public against the cost of the protect, and he says the end result that the commission will decide on in December has to consider that balance. The next hearings are scheduled for Cedar Rapids on May 29th, Council Bluffs on July 17th and Davenport on August 12th.
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