The Iowa House has passed a bill that would help 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds eventually clear their record of an alcohol-related charge. Representative Nathan Willems, a Democrat from Lisbon, calls the charge of “possession of alcohol under legal age” a “PAULA.”

“So what this bill does is that it requires two years of ‘good behavior’ for an 18-, 19- or 20-year-old who receives a PAULA, at which time they can ask a court to expunge the record of their conviction,” Willems says. The bill sets up the same process for erasing charges against 18-, 19- or 20-year-olds who’ve been guilty of possessing, buying or trying to buy alcohol before they’re legally able to do so at the age of 21.

According to Willems, it makes sense to erase an alcohol charge if the young adult doesn’t have any other run-ins with the law. “We would like these young people to not be hindered in their future endeavors,” Willems says, “applying for future employment or for their applications to graduate school.” The bill passed the House without a dissenting vote. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.