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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 7, 2003

NOTE TO EDITORS: All media are invited to attend a community-wide meeting to discuss a proposed ordinance of beer keg registration in Keokuk County at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12 at Memorial Hall Auditorium in Sigourney.

Public Meeting To Discuss Keg Registration In Keokuk County

A community-wide meeting to discuss a proposed ordinance of beer keg registration in Keokuk County will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12 at Memorial Hall Auditorium in Sigourney.

Keg registration is a tool intended to reduce the social availability of alcohol to underage consumers. Under the proposed ordinance, kegs would be tagged with a unique identification number. At the time of purchase, retailers would be required to record the keg's ID number along with the purchaser's name, address and driver's license number. If there are any problems associated with the party or individuals involved with the keg, police can trace the keg purchase and purchaser.

Some 23 states and territories have implemented keg registration laws, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and local laws exist in several states. The Keokuk County ordinance is being proposed by the Adolescent Alcohol Prevention Working Group, a community group made up of county and city officials, retailers, clergy, educators and residents, as an effort to reduce underage drinking and increase adult accountability. The group is part of the Community Health Action Partnership (CHAP), which is part of the University of Iowa College of Public Health Department of Community and Behavioral Health. CHAP is funded by grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Studies have shown that the prevalence of binge drinking among adolescents is higher in rural than urban areas. Twenty-three percent of Sigourney High School 11th graders reported binge drinking on at least three of the past 30 days, and 8 percent reported binge drinking on 10 or more of the past 30 days, according to the Iowa Department of Human Right's Iowa Youth Survey Report. The same report revealed that 21 percent of 11th graders drove after drinking or using drugs in the 30 days prior to the survey.

Nationally, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15 to 20 year-olds, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which also notes that almost one third of the drivers in this age group who were killed in motor vehicle crashes during 2002 had been drinking.

According to the Iowa Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau, the five alcohol and drug-related traffic fatalities in Keokuk County between 1998-2000 ranked the county 20th in Iowa in the total of such deaths, yet the county ranks 72nd in population, according to the 2000 U.S. Census.

For more information about the proposed ordinance, contact Shellie Streigel, Community Health Action Partnership, at 641-622-2519.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

CONTACTS: Media: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647, debra-venzke@uiowa.edu Proposed ordinance information: Shellie Streigel, Community Health Action Partnership, 641-622-2519.