Iowa City should outlaw alcohol possession for everyone

BY ADAM B SULLIVAN | JULY 20, 2011 7:20 AM

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Iowa City's drinking culture has gone too far.

City and university leaders' attempts to curb dangerous consumption have been well-intentioned but have not gone nearly far enough. The city's 21-and-older bar restriction took hold more than a year ago, but built-in exemptions to the regulation mean hundreds of young people are still flocking to downtown to enjoy cheap shots and poorly composed music.

The Iowa City City Council's latest plan would take away 21-ordinance exemptions from restaurants which get too many PAULAs per police visit. Under that plan, Sam's Pizza — undoubtedly one of the most sinister business operations in the area — might finally have to close its doors to minors after 10 p.m. Still, I worry it's not enough

I'm not proposing alcohol should be illegal. I just think buying, selling, possessing, and consuming alcohol ought to be outlawed.

Not only would these measures reduce noise, vomit, and excessive fun in downtown Iowa City, they would likely reduce a host of other ills around the community.

For instance, emergency officials say when alcohol regulations are tightened, ambulance calls move from downtown bars to surrounding neighborhoods. So if we impose extreme regulations on alcohol, ambulance calls will probably spread out across town even more. This will reduce the risk of ambulances crashing into one another.

The same officials say alcohol regulations lead to more ambulance calls earlier in the night. So if we made alcohol consumption illegal, all the ambulance calls would probably be during the day. Again, we could reduce the risk of ambulance crashes because driving during the day is safer than driving at night.

And another thing — this sketchy website I found says Iowa has the 49th highest liver disease death rate in the United States. Cutting off alcohol to one of Iowa's biggest towns could easily put us in the running for 50th highest liver disease death rate.

And did you know almost all murders, thefts, and assaults in the United States happen in communities where free adults are allowed to possess inebriating beverages? If we made it a crime to possess beer, wine, and liquor, I'm confident all crime would drop basically to 0.

Of course we'd have to brainstorm an enforcement plan. You know how Per Mar workers look inside your coat and bag when you go into a sporting event? Let's set one of those guys up on every block in Iowa City so they can make sure nobody is possessing alcohol. Also, there are menacing communities surrounding Iowa City — shadowy communities such as Coralville, Hills, West Branch, and University Heights from which citizens could smuggle booze into Iowa City. I propose building a wall around the city limits to solve this problem.

You'd still be able to leave Iowa City — you'd just have to let a friendly police officer go through your things. It's not like we're trying to restrict anyone's freedom here or anything.

> Share your thoughts! Click here to write a Letter to the Editor.

comments powered by Disqus

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.