Getting Tough on Underage Drinking

Legislators in Iowa are considering a proposal to increase the penalties for underage drinking to include up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine

The law would increase the charge for underage drinking from a simple misdemeanor to an aggravated misdemeanor. That’s the same charge issued for a variety of serious crimes including child endangerment and assault with a deadly weapon. The action echoes proposals by frustrated prohibitionists during National Prohibition in the U.S. (1920-1933) who suggested severe punishments for those who consumed alcohol. Suggestions included that those who consumed alcohol should be exiled to concentration camps, whipped, tattooed, or tortured.


  • Miller, Vanessa. Officials want to get tough on alcohol: Underage drinking focus of law. Iowa City Press-Citizen, 2-18-04. The law would also increase the penalties for minors who provide alcohol to other minors as well as for the possession of alcohol by anyone under the age of 18.