The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 7, 2003

Iowa's First Keg Registration Ordinance Takes Effect In Keokuk County

The state of Iowa's first county-wide keg registration ordinance goes into effect in Keokuk County on Wednesday, Jan. 7, the culmination of a local group's effort to reduce underage drinking and increase adult accountability in their southeast Iowa community.

Under the new ordinance, kegs will be tagged with a unique identification number. At the time of purchase, retailers will be required to record the keg's ID number along with the purchaser's name, address and driver's license number. In the event of any problems associated with the party or individuals involved with the keg, police can trace the keg purchase and purchaser.

The Keokuk County ordinance was proposed by the Adolescent Alcohol Prevention Working Group, a community group made up of county and city officials, retailers, clergy, educators and residents. The group is a part of the Community Health Action Partnership (CHAP) funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the Department of Community and Behavioral Health in the University of Iowa College of Public Health. John Lowe, Ph.D., professor and head of community and behavioral health, and James Merchant, M.D., Dr.P.H., dean of the UI College of Public Health, are the principal investigators on the grant.

"This ordinance has important implications for the health of Keokuk County residents and it is also a great example of an effective community action," Lowe said.

Keg registration is intended to reduce the social availability of alcohol to underage consumers and increase adult accountability, according to Ollie, Iowa, resident Mary Krier, chair of the Adolescent Alcohol Prevention Working Group and a member of the Keokuk County Board of Supervisors.

"I am shocked by the number of alcohol-related deaths among young people in Keokuk County, especially at the time of year around high school graduation," Krier said. "This ordinance will not completely eliminate the problems associated with underage drinking in our community, but it's an important first step to tell parents and other adults that they are responsible for the kegs they purchase. Hopefully, this ordinance will be an impetus for a statewide keg registration law in Iowa."

Some 23 states and territories have implemented keg registration laws, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and local laws exist in several states.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4261 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

CONTACTS: Media: Dan McMillan, 319-335-6835,; Jennifer Cook, 319-335-8350,; Keg ordinance information: Shellie Streigel, Community Health Action Partnership, 641-622-2519