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Maryville Leaders Plan to Revisit Bar Age Limit

Almost a year after the city of Maryville turned down an ordinance to restrict underage people from entering bars, the city has decided to readdress the issue.
(MARYVILLE, Mo.) Almost a year after the city of Maryville turned down an ordinance to restrict underage people from entering bars, the city has decided to readdress the issue.

At Monday's City Council meeting, members decided to look into the ordinance that allowed those 19 and older to enter a bar.

Missouri state law does not require bars to set an age limit for entry. Owners just have to abide by the state's legal drinking age of 21.

Maryville Mayor Jim Fall felt it was a good time to address the issue. The city is also considering modifying laws regarding open containers and public parties.

"Strictly, the ordinance on it's own, I don't think it has much legs," Fall said. "But with the support of the open container law, for lack of a better term, and the party control with the help of the University, I think it gives us a more solid base to work from."

Fall said he understands both sides of the issue. He said if the city does change the ordinance, then they will need to shift their patrols elsewhere, such as house parties and controlling fake IDs.

Chris Burns owns Burny's, a popular bar for Northwest Missouri State University students. He supports the decision to make the age of entry 21.

"It saves us some of the headaches of underage drinking and other problems that come along with the younger kids," Burns said.

For those impacted by the law, mainly students at the University, they are conflicted.

Maryville student Rinay Chikeada said he believes the bars should allow only 21-year-olds and older to enter. Chikeada said he sees underage kids get drinks from those that are of age, something that is sometimes difficult to monitor.

Omaha senior Jordan Andersen disagrees.

"It gives the minors a safe place to go so they're not out just at random house parties roaming the streets," she said.

The city will hold a public forum before voting. A vote is expected at the end of January.
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