Sacto 9-1-1
May 12, 2010
Sacramento County supes vote for underage-drinking crackdown

By Robert Lewis

Sacramento County is cracking down on underage drinking and will begin punishing adults who host or provide a setting for minors to drink.

The Board of Supervisors on Wednesday voted unanimously for an ordinance that will allow the county to fine adults who let minors drink in their home. State law only prohibits underage drinking in public. The new ordinance is aimed at those adults who let minors have parties with alcohol.

"Young people report they get alcohol primarily from family and friends, and indicate they can often get alcohol at private parties," according to a report county officials prepared for Wednesday's hearing. "The ordinance helps a community promote a clear and consistent message that alcohol use under the age of 21 is illegal, dangerous, and unacceptable. Under the ordinance parents and adults can be held accountable for their role in knowingly permitting or hosting unsupervised parties where alcohol is served to, or consumed by minors."

Violating the Social Host Ordinance will lead to fines between $100 and $500. Landlords, property management companies and other owner agents are excluded.

Several advocacy groups including Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Sacramento Youth and Alcohol Coalition supported the ordinance.

"It creates a valuable tool to making sure adults consider carefully their actions before making alcohol available or knowing alcohol will be available in their residence to those who are underage," Supervisor Roger Dickinson said.

Call The Bee's Robert Lewis, (916) 321-1061.

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