City sets PAULA ratio at 0.25

BY DI STAFF | JANUARY 25, 2012 7:20 AM

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Iowa City restaurants will face tighter policies regarding the PAULA ratio and 21-ordinance exceptions.

The Iowa City City Council voted 7-0 to pass a resolution setting the PAULA ratio at 0.25 Tuesday.

Other implemented policies include defining a "bar check," setting an audit deposit amount at $2,500, and limiting establishments to one "new business" exception every year.

City Attorney Eleanor Dikes said the ratio is fair.

"It's a reasonable standard that a true restaurant should not have any difficulty meeting," she said.

Establishments with an entertainment exemption previously had to meet a 0.5 PAULA ratio. In November, The Daily Iowan reported no establishments with entertainment exemptions had a PAULA ratio above 0.25.

Kelly Bender, the University of Iowa coordinator of campus community harm-reduction initiative, said the Partnership for Alcohol Safety and various bar and restaurant owners are hopeful about the changes.

"They're feeling optimistic that it's going to be beneficial in changing practices," Bender said. "These really are recommendations that were initiated by bar owners who want to play by the rules."

— by Kristen East

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