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    Question Underage Bar Entry - Ames vs Iowa City

    The legal drinking age in the State of Iowa is 21. In Ames, the legal age to enter a "bar" is 21. In Iowa City, 19 & 20 year-olds are allowed in "bars" (defined as more than 50% of proceeds are derived from sale of beer or alcohol), but they're not allowed to drink. <winkwink>

    A recent provost's survey indicated that 70% of EIU freshmen and sophomores had engaged in "binge drinking" within the two-week period prior to which they took the survey. It's no secret that there is a serious drinking problem amongst students of all ages at EIU. A local group is considering a ballot initiative to change city code whereby bar access after 10PM would be denied those not of legal age (21).

    What are the thoughts of present and former ISU students on the requirement to be 21 to enter a bar in Ames? Were you denied an active social life at the ages of 19 & 20? Did it lead to more off-campus house parties where underage drinking was rampant? In short, what were the negatives to having a "21 Law" in Ames?


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    Re: Underage Bar Entry - Ames vs Iowa City

    While I don't have any stats, I can tell you this. My friends and I took a few trips to Iowa City just to drink at bars, because we weren't old enough to get into the ones in Ames at the time. Only a few times did we get denied drinks. Most of the time we had no trouble what so ever.



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    Re: Underage Bar Entry - Ames vs Iowa City

    Im over 21 and not a big fan of the city mandating a 21 bar age. Let the bars themselves choose. I'm sure some would remain 21 and over, and others would welcome additional people.

    As far as that study goes, id be interested to see what the percentage is for ISU. I doubt there is any less drinking, it just happens at house parties spread all throughout ames instead of all at the bars. If anything, theres more with most house parties charging by the cup not the drink. I certainly wasnt denied a social life. However, it always does suck to separate groups of friends based on the 21 age limit.

    It does cause some problems... im sure noise complaints in Iowa City would start to rise as parties move out of the bar areas.

    I tend not to go to the bars all that often though... too expensive.. $3-5 a drink vs $3-5 a cup for all night, tends to keep me at house parties anyway, especially when half my friends cant go to the bars anyways.



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    Re: Underage Bar Entry - Ames vs Iowa City

    iccyfan, I've noticed this problem as well. Bouncers are pretty strict about id-ing people at the door and gathering the cover fee at most places, and most places put a marker or color permanent marker on your wrist to signify if you're under 21. Once you get to the bar though, ESPECIALLY if it's really busy, bartenders won't look for the marking or id you.

    It's pretty crazy that this has been allowed to go on for so long.



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    Re: Underage Bar Entry - Ames vs Iowa City

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Lastuvka View Post
    It's pretty crazy that this has been allowed to go on for so long.
    the underage drinking or the 21 drinking age itself?



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    Re: Underage Bar Entry - Ames vs Iowa City

    I'm in a fairly unique situation, as a 19-year old student at ISU whose hometown is Iowa City. I think there are a few different factors at play here, but more on that in a second. Personally, I really like Iowa City's 19-ordinance. When I visit friends at Iowa during the school year, it gives us somewhere to go so that we don't have to just sit around in someone's dorm room or apartment. Yes, there are plenty of 19's and 20's who drink in the IC bars, but I can tell you from experience that there are just as many who go to A) dance or B) hang out with their friends who are 21, since that's where the 21-friends would be even if the underage person wasn't allowed in. Ames' bar scene- no matter how much people complain about it- honestly isn't that bad, but if you're a bar-goer, then Iowa City is undoubtedly better. There are more actual dance clubs there, for one thing, which is something that I like. Ames only has Element and the Boheme.

    I can tell you right now that it will take some pretty substantial political firepower to get the 19-ordinance repealed. Like pretty much every college campus anywhere, UI students do not turn out to vote on typical issues, such as student government. But threaten to take away the 19-ordinance, and they will tear off the doors of the polling places in order to defeat the motion.

    As for the Ames side of the equation- yes, I sometimes do feel like I get left behind by my 21+ friends because I can't get into a bar. I've sat on my computer quite a few weekend nights for that reason. Yes, because of that, there is a lot more drinking in the dorms and at off-campus parties. Honestly, I think many people would drink *less* at a bar than a house party, if only because it's expensive to drink at bars.

    I wish a 19-ordinance would get passed in Ames. The city of Ames has the comparable advantage of having a majority of the bars frequented by college students being right across the street from campus, and in a concentrated area. This makes it easier for police details to patrol it. Unfortunately, the student body at ISU hasn't quite figured out that if even a fraction of them put their heads together, they are a strong voting force in the community, and stand a chance of getting what they want. With the election of Ryan Doll to the Ames City Council, and the proposition of adding a student liaison from the GSB to the City Council, the student voice at ISU will begin to be heard more in the local government. Maybe a few years down the road, there will be successful movements in the direction of getting a 19-ordinance passed. But until the students realize that their votes do matter, nothing will happen. Too bad.


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    Re: Underage Bar Entry - Ames vs Iowa City

    I'd hate to beat a dead horse, but if we had the same 19+ only law as Iowa City, Berryman would still be on the team. I say loosen the restrictions on bars, and let them choose their age limit. If they need more patrons, they can easily lower their age requirement, but if they're popular as it is, there's no need.


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    Re: Underage Bar Entry - Ames vs Iowa City

    Quote Originally Posted by alarson83 View Post
    the underage drinking or the 21 drinking age itself?
    My personal opinion is if you are an adult then you should have all the privelages that go with that. You are able to serve our country in the military at 18 then you should be able to drink at 18. There are kids as young as 12 that get charged in criminal court as adults. It should be one way or another. I am 34 and have no agenda on this issue, just an opinion.


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    Re: Underage Bar Entry - Ames vs Iowa City

    If the age limit was dropped to 19, then everyone who is 21 will complain that the lines are even longer to get into bars than they are already. Part of the reason Iowa City is able to do that is because, as ornyractor pointed out, they have more bars.



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    Re: Underage Bar Entry - Ames vs Iowa City

    Quote Originally Posted by mwitt View Post
    If the age limit was dropped to 19, then everyone who is 21 will complain that the lines are even longer to get into bars than they are already. Part of the reason Iowa City is able to do that is because, as ornyractor pointed out, they have more bars.
    Which came first, the chicken or the egg? I don't know much about Ames' past in age restriction for bars, but don't you think the lack of bars in Ames is because only those who are 21 can get in?


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    Re: Underage Bar Entry - Ames vs Iowa City

    Quote Originally Posted by chadm View Post
    My personal opinion is if you are an adult then you should have all the privelages that go with that. You are able to serve our country in the military at 18 then you should be able to drink at 18. There are kids as young as 12 that get charged in criminal court as adults. It should be one way or another. I am 34 and have no agenda on this issue, just an opinion.
    i agree completely. the drinking age has been pretty ineffective anyways, when such a large majority of the population affected is ignoring it, its pretty bad law.



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    Re: Underage Bar Entry - Ames vs Iowa City

    Quote Originally Posted by mwitt View Post
    If the age limit was dropped to 19, then everyone who is 21 will complain that the lines are even longer to get into bars than they are already. Part of the reason Iowa City is able to do that is because, as ornyractor pointed out, they have more bars.
    And im sure supply will rise to meet demand.



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    Re: Underage Bar Entry - Ames vs Iowa City

    Quote Originally Posted by ISUKyro View Post
    While I don't have any stats, I can tell you this. My friends and I took a few trips to Iowa City just to drink at bars, because we weren't old enough to get into the ones in Ames at the time. Only a few times did we get denied drinks. Most of the time we had no trouble what so ever.
    Yep, that's the scenario that makes IC such a drinker's town. People will drive hours just because they know they can get in. I have friends that go to IC once or twice a month because of the atmosphere. To my knowledge their IC friends do not take turns coming here.

    It depends on which side you are on. Let's call a spade a spade here, by and large this issue is about allowing 19 and 20 year olds to get away with drinking in a bar if they choose to do so. From a money standpoint, by allowing more people in, the bar owners make more money. From a law enforcement standpoint, there is no chance that Ames has the manpower to keep all of these people from drinking.

    Frankly, I'm so far removed from this scene that I don't care either way. These kids will find a way to drink, whether it's in a bar or at a house party. You could rationalize it by saying that the police can keep a closer watch on Campustown since that location is static; the drinking will always be done there. If you force these people to house parties, they are significantly harder to police.

    On the other hand, the law is 21. By keeping these people out of the bars, you keep them out of the places you KNOW that booze is available.

    It's a crap shoot. I think it's funny that we have opposing policies in the two major college towns within the state.



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    Re: Underage Bar Entry - Ames vs Iowa City

    My opinion is that it is a right earned once you turn 21. Until then, be patient. The whole 'no social life' thing is a joke.



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    Re: Underage Bar Entry - Ames vs Iowa City

    Quote Originally Posted by chadm View Post
    My personal opinion is if you are an adult then you should have all the privelages that go with that. You are able to serve our country in the military at 18 then you should be able to drink at 18. There are kids as young as 12 that get charged in criminal court as adults. It should be one way or another. I am 34 and have no agenda on this issue, just an opinion.
    I agree.



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