Some believe raising the age limit from 19 to 21 could help stop underage drinking, but Maryville Public Safety says that won't solve everything.
For many students at Northwest Missouri State University, hanging out at a bar at age 19 is a great opportunity.
"That was a big draw to go to Northwest just because there's not a lot of other schools or towns where you can go to a bar or a dance club at the age of 19," said Darbi Fuhrman, a student at Northwest.
While the legal drinking age is still 21, many younger students still like to tag along with older friends.
"I have a lot of friends that are of age that like to go to the bar so I go with them most of the time. I obviously don't drink but I pay to get in and just hang out," says Josh Baker, another Northwest student.
However, with so many underage so close to alcohol, a worried citizen brought it to the attention of the city council which is now considering raising the bar age limit to 21.
Students say there is reason for concern.
"There's been times where people buy, you know, hand off a drink, and pass on a drink, so I think it's just a liability," says Matt Messer, another Northwest student.
"I've seen underage people get kicked out because they're drinking," Fuhrman says.
"You see the people that do try, and get caught sometimes, some don't," says Baker.
Maryville Public Safety is one of the groups weighing in with city council.
The Director of Public Safety says raising the age limit won't solve everything.
"I think that most of us that look at this are kind of looking at it more big picture, as opposed to just that specific issue," says Keith Wood, Director of Maryville Public Safety.
In addition to age restriction, Wood believes an ordinance should include liability for house parties, and right now, Maryville doesn't have an open container law.
"All of the other communities have restrictions on that, so I think it's almost a culture we're looking at as opposed to a series of laws," Wood says.
The director still doesn't like the risk for underage drinking in bars, but says there is at least some enforcement since the department can't be everywhere.
"It's their responsibility, and again, you go back to they don't want the liability, but in reality if you're not willing to take on some of that when you open a bar, then you need to be selling cookies or something," says Wood.
It's a decision that they hope will make the city safer.
Maryville Public Safety has been compiling bar reports from the past several years.
It will give a presentation to city council on Monday.