Three years have passed since the 21-only bar ordinance went into effect in Iowa City and none of the doom and gloom predictions of the opponents has come to pass. In fact, the measure seems to have had a net positive for all parties involved.
They predicted that that students would still continue on with drinking endeavors. While students may still be choosing to drink, the data shows that high-risk drinking rates are on a downward trend. Calls for service for serious infractions downtown are also on a declining trend. Downtown Iowa City is a safer place.
They predicted that there would be an explosion of house parties. With less focus on enforcement needed downtown, police stepped up patrols in neighborhoods and the vision of students wild in the streets has not come to pass.
They predicted that the ordinance would cripple business downtown and we would see places close up. Some did when their patrons were no longer allowed in, but as a result, we got wonderful places such as Basta, Clinton Street Social Club, and soon FilmScene. Our downtown is better and more vibrant.
They predicted that the university would suffer and students would not come, yet our enrollment remains strong.
The 21-only ordinance has worked, is working, and should be allowed to continue to work.
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