Did you know that the rate of alcohol outlet density in Jackson County is 47.44 percent higher than the State of Iowa’s rate? What does this mean for Jackson County and why should we care?
One third of 11th graders in Jackson County who reported drinking within the last 30 days reported that they purchased alcohol themselves.
Eight percent of 11th graders indicated that they obtained alcohol through near peers meaning persons just over the legal age to purchase alcohol. By limiting the availability of alcohol we can decrease youth access to alcohol.
One way to decrease access is to limit youth’s contact with alcohol. Jackson County Prevention Coalition is currently working on an ordinance to limit alcohol outlet density in Jackson County.
The ordinance would create a 500 foot radius around each school in Jackson County where new alcohol licenses would not be allowed. Current alcohol license holders would not be affected.
Additionally, a variance would be granted if a school moves within 500 feet of an existing license.
Restaurants are excluded from this limitation and are defined as any food establishment whose alcohol sales are less than 50 percent of total sales.
The first step is for the Board of Supervisors to pass the ordinance. Then the Coalition will work with City Councils to pass an ordinance that adopts the County’s ordinance.
If you are interested in learning more about limiting alcohol outlet density or any of the other great strategies that the Coalition is currently working on come join our meetings every third Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Jackson County Courthouse.
Jackson County Attorney
Jackson County Prevention Coalition member