The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

AP story section

October 24, 2013

Group questions true impact of Iowa City's bar ban

IOWA CITY — A policy research group is questioning the impact of an Iowa City ordinance that prohibits people under 21 from entering most bars after 10 p.m., arguing a decline in underage drinking and criminal charges is not necessarily related to the degree that supporters claim.

The nonpartisan Iowa Policy Research Organization analyzed intoxication charges and underage drinking citations in the city before and after the bar ban was enacted in 2010, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported.

The Iowa City police data from January 2004 to September 2013 suggests the three-year-old ordinance has had a minimal effect on the steady trend of fewer alcohol-related crimes over a nearly 10-year period, showing alcohol-related crimes have been decreasing well before the law went into effect.

University of Iowa Associate Professor of Political Science Rene Rocha, a faculty supervisor for IPRO, said “the ordinance appears to be a function of just trends that precede the adoption of the 21 ordinance rather than an effect of the 21 ordinance itself.”

Two weeks ago, Iowa City police released data that indicated the ban has reduced crime since it went into effect. The department said there were at least 1,300 fewer calls for alcohol-related crimes between 2010 and 2013 compared to three years prior to the ban.

Kelly Bender, who directs the UI-Iowa City Partnership for Alcohol Safety, said the 21-only ordinance has been a factor in the decrease of alcohol-related crimes, but so have initiatives such as alcohol-free entertainment options for students.

“The ordinance is certainly an important piece of this, but there is a lot else that’s going on in the community and on campus that is working together that can make that ordinance stronger, and that ordinance can make other things stronger as well,” she said.

The IPRO report notes that disorderly house charges are up about 10 citations a month since the ordinance passed. Bender said those numbers have been dropping. Alcohol-related arrests on the pedestrian mall between January 2009 and December 2011 jumped by 81 percent, according to the report.

The report also shows underage people charged with drunken driving have decreased by more than six percent since the ordinance passed.

Iowa City voters will decide Nov. 5 whether to retain or repeal the ordinance.

Text Only
AP story section
  • State to reopen Juvenile Home DES MOINES -- A district court judge on Wednesday ordered the state to reopen the Iowa Juvenile Home, telling Gov. Terry Branstad he cannot unilaterally change a law approved by the state Legislature. Judge Scott Rosenberg said the home in Toledo was

    February 6, 2014

  • Panel OKs ban on remote abortion pill distribution DES MOINES -- A legislative panel approved a measure Wednesday that would ban the remote distribution of abortion pills, a proposal the bill's sponsor said is intended to delay the procedure and give women more time to change their minds. The subcomm

    February 6, 2014

  • Sioux City gambling group halts local grants SIOUX CITY -- The nonprofit that holds the gambling license for the Argosy Sioux City riverboat casino has voted to temporarily stop sending grants to local charities and government agencies. A legal dispute with the operator of the casino, Penn Nati

    January 15, 2014

  • Davenport pays, apologizes to hearing impaired man DAVENPORT (AP) -- The city of Davenport has issued an unusual apology to a former alderman after a police employee was caught on tape saying that he intentionally knocked softly on the hearing-impaired man's door when responding to a service call. Th

    January 15, 2014

  • Budget Branstad presents budget for next fiscal year DES MOINES -- Gov. Terry Branstad offered a budget proposal Tuesday that includes a tax break for veterans, a tuition freeze for college students and incentives to encourage Internet expansion in rural Iowa, a more modest list of priorities one year

    January 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gov. restores more felons' voting rights IOWA CITY (AP) -- Gov. Terry Branstad restored voting rights to more felons in 2013 than the prior two years combined, but thousands of others remain disenfranchised under a 2011 policy change. Data released by the governor's office to The Associated

    January 15, 2014

  • Man fatally shot at Fla. theater over texting WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (AP) -- A 71-year-old retired police officer accused of shooting a man dead in a Florida movie theater told authorities that "he was in fear of being attacked" during Monday's confrontation. Curtis Reeves is charged with second-de

    January 15, 2014

  • Iowa Senator: Congress must confirm election board DES MOINES -- An Iowa senator asked a U.S. Senate committee Wednesday to confirm appointees to a federal election commission so a decision can be made about whether Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz is properly using money for voter-fraud investig

    January 9, 2014

  • School Discipline Gov't: End overly zealous discipline in schools WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Obama administration is urging schools to abandon overly zealous discipline policies that civil rights advocates have long said lead to a school-to-prison pipeline that discriminates against minority students. The wide-ranging

    January 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Governor, lawmakers set modest goals for 2014 DES MOINES -- After reaching bipartisan agreements on several major policy initiatives last year, Gov. Terry Branstad said Wednesday that he is setting more modest expectations for the 2014 legislative session. Speaking at The Associated Press' annua

    January 9, 2014

AP Video
National News