Strict Alcohol Policies Made Riot Worse

Overly strict alcohol policies contributed to a spring riot in Ames (IA), according to a preliminary report issued by an Iowa State University task force studying the violence that caused $100,000 in damages.

"A university-wide alcohol ban during the annual student-run celebration probably sent more students off campus to drink and heightened students' resistance toward police" according to a work group analyzing the cause of the riot.

Research has demonstrated that strictly enforced alcohol prohibitions on college campuses tend to drive the drinking off campus and into uncontrolled environments and situations. This riot appears to be another example of the unintended consequences of such policies, regardless of how well intentioned they may be.


  • Alcohol policies cited as factors in Ames riot. DesMoines Register. September 30, 2004.

Filed Under: College