A new state law that goes into effect Sunday requires beer kegs to have registration numbers so the person who bought the beer can be tracked if underage kids are caught drinking from the keg. A group of high school kids started lobbying for the law five years ago. Tim Carr of Lamoni was a leader of the group, which adopted the name Iowans to Reduce Underage Drinking.
"The effort began when I was an eighth grader and it finished, it came to fruition when I was a senior so it was five years of hard work," Carr says. "To finally feel like we truly made a difference and that our hard work paid off is really rewarding." All of the states surrounding Iowa have required beer keg registration and Carr says that meant Iowa’s border areas had become too attractive for keggers.
"One of the reasons that…early on we went to Farm Bureau and asked for their support is farmers oftentimes find these keg parties destroying their corn fields or their bean fields," he says. Over the past five years Carr says he learned a lot about the legislative process, namely that it’s complicated and nothing happens over night.
"Our only agenda when we started was we wanted to make Iowa a safer place…for all people and we feel with this law we accomplished that," Carr says. "We accomplished what we set out to do."
Carr will attend college in South Dakota this fall and he won’t be able to remain active in Iowans to Prevent Underage Drinking, but Carr says the group plans to press for another state law that would hopefully cut the amount of alcohol use among Iowa teens — they just haven’t decided what exactly they’ll be lobbying for yet.