Underage Drinking & the Law

What parents need to know now about the new Social Host Laws

In Minnesota: “Social host bill gets unsocial reception”

When I first read the Chaska Herald‘s headline, I naively assumed that the pendulum in Minnesota was starting to swing the other way. I was wrong. Why I am I surprised? After all, Minnetonka, Minnesota is where a passive law was first proposed in 2009: to prosecute adults who host gatherings where conditions are “ripe” for underage drinking but don’t take steps to stop it. (The final amended version can be found here.)

Well, I was wrong. Proponents want to tighten the new state bill that applies only to adults 21 and older. They also want to remove the requirement that the alcohol cause intoxication and expand it to include one teen handing one beer to another teen.

Social Host rules have already closed the loophole of evidence-based prosecution; for example, under the previous laws police would need to prove who had purchased the alcohol to identify who was responsible. Now, here comes the orgy of overreach. Why limit the law’s grasp to those who can legally purchase alcohol. If the minors are drinking in a private residence, that’s enough proof to charge the renter or owner or dependent of the owner of that residence, even if it’s an 18-year-old who is hosting a party for other 18 year olds.

A favorite quote comes from Lindsey Carlson, youth programs specialist for MADD – Minnesota. “It’s MADD’s position that social host laws will be more effective if done on a local level…A statewide law takes the community accountability and buy-in away because it makes the issue less personal,” Carlson stated, in an e-mail. Right – because law enforcement based on personal beliefs is so much better than one based on…the law of evidence.


To learn more:

Social host bill gets unsocial receptionChaska Herald – February 17, 2011. Byline: Editor Mark Olson

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on February 18, 2011 by in Alcohol Policy, Social Host, Social Host Ordinances, Underage Drinking and tagged , , , .

RSS Latest News

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Video News

  • Video: Woman arrested following weekend party June 26, 2017
    Party has underage drinking
  • Video: Hands On Training for Dealing with Underage Drinking Parties June 21, 2017
    Hands On Training for Dealing with Underage Drinking Parties
  • Video: Former Illini basketball signee arrested at Mizzou June 20, 2017
    WCIA -- Former Illinois basketball signee Jeremiah Tilmon was arrested Friday night for possession of alcohol by a minor, according to University of Missouri police. The East St. Louis native and five-star recruit was pulled over for a routine traffic stop when officers smelled alcohol. The 18-year old passed a field sobriety test but was taken into custody […]
  • Video: Country Jam: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly June 15, 2017
    GRAND JUNCTION, Colo: Lauren Klenda is joined by Megan Terlecky with the Mesa County Sheriff's Office with a big issue that is seen every year at Country Jam, underage drinking and adults buying alcohol for minors. Terlecky gives ways you can make the most of your Country Jam while abiding by the law (and avoiding some fines!). Want the latest on Countr […]

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow us on Twitter

%d bloggers like this: