New state laws go into effect when the ball drops tonight
Underage substance use laws get tougher on parents and kids
In Pennsylvania, minors face steeper fines if they’re caught drinking. First offenders are fined $500 and repeat offenders pay up to $1,000. No wonder they run when the police arrive.
Illinois amended their Social Host Law making it significantly easier to arrest “party hosts” if minors are discovered drinking on their property, by expanding the definition beyond private homes to include boats, backyards, offices and stores, reducing the number of minors caught imbibing to just one and adding felony charges if that one person is injured or killed. So, if you hold a company Christmas party and one of your employees is 20 years old and has a beer, you are now liable for a misdemeanor. If he falls down the stairs and breaks his neck, you can go to jail for one to three years and pay fines of up to $25,000.
In California, charter bus and limousine drivers must now inform all passengers under 21 that alcohol is illegal for them even if they are not carrying alcohol. If they are, they must hire someone over 25 to make sure no minors drink.
In New York, electronic cigarettes have been added to the long list of products banned for sale to minors; although they were initially considered safer than cigarettes, attitudes changed when the manufacturers introduced candy flavors and the Federal Drug Administration announced they may include toxic ingredients.