Group Questions True Impact of Iowa City's Bar Ban

Bar goers stand outside the Airliner in Iowa City just after 10 P.M., Friday May 13, 2011. The Airliner, is one of several establishments in Iowa City with an exception from the over 21 ordinance.. (Becky Malewitz/SourceMedia Group News)

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By Larry Burkum

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A policy research group is questioning the impact of Iowa City's 21-only ordinance on the decline of underage drinking and criminal charges.

Findings by the nonpartisan Iowa Policy Research Organization suggest underage drinking charges have been decreasing for almost a decade, way before the law passed in 2010.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports the group analyzed various intoxication charges and underage drinking citations for its report. It comes two weeks after Iowa City police released data that suggests the ban has reduced crime since it went into effect.

The information from both sides is ahead of a Nov. 5 vote that will determine whether to retain or repeal the ordinance, which prohibits people under 21 from entering most bars after 10 p.m.

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