Underage Drinking & the Law

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

Sample Social Host Laws

These five documents offer excellent examples of how broad is the range of Social Host legislation.The first five are existing statutes in effect. The last is a sample Social Host Ordinance from MADD. For help deciphering these laws, visit our Social Host Law Primer.

Oklahoma’s Social Host Law (also known as Cody’s Law)

Michigan’s Social Host Law

Connecticut’s Social Host Law

Westchester County, NY’s Social Host Law

St. Paul, MN’s Social Host Ordinance

This is MADD’s Sample Social Host Ordinance. If you would like to view the original from their website, please click here.

Model Social Host Ordinance (For Cities)
NOW, THEREFORE, the City Council of the City of ____________, _____ (State), DOES HEREBY ORDAIN as follows:
SECTION 1. The City Council of the City of ____________ makes the following findings:
(1) that unsupervised parties on private property where alcohol and/or controlled substances consumed by minors are not only unlawful but often a cause for disturbances;
(2) the ability of law enforcement to abate loud and disturbing gatherings or gatherings where alcohol and/or control substances are consumed by minors on private property will result in a decrease in abuse of intoxicants by minors, physical altercations and injuries, reduce neighborhood vandalism and excessive noise disturbances, and thereby improving public safety;
(3) State law does not preempt imposing civil liability for the purposes of cost recovery upon persons who allow premises under their control to be used for underage drinking or possession of controlled substances.
SECTION 2. The title of __________ Municipal Code Chapter __, Article __ shall be amended to read as follows: “Police Services at Parties and Events and Alcohol Consumption by Minors.”
SECTION 3. Section _______ of the ________ Municipal Code shall read as follows:  Section ________. Purpose.
(1) The control of large parties, gatherings or events on private property is necessary when such continued activity is determined to be a threat to the peace, health, safety or general welfare of the public;
(2) Police officers have been required to make as many as three return calls to a location of a party, gathering or event in order to disperse uncooperative participants, and the return of police officers to a location constitutes a drain of manpower and resources, often leaving other areas of the city without minimal levels of police protection;
(3) All of these circumstances create a significant hazard to the safety of the police officers and to the public in general and constitutes a public nuisance;
(4) The consumption of alcohol and illegal drugs by minors is harmful to the health, safety and welfare of the community, and imposing both criminal and financial liability on adults permitting such conduct is an effective means to prevent consumption of alcohol and illegal drugs by minors.
SECTION 4. Section ___________ is amended to read as follows:  Section _______. Definitions. For the purposes of this article, the following definitions apply: “Alcohol” means ethyl alcohol, hydrated oxide of ethyl, or spirits of wine, from whatever source or by whatever process produced. “Alcohol beverage” includes alcohol, spirits, liquor, wine, beer, and every liquid or solid containing alcohol, spirits, wine, or beer, and which contains one-half of one percent or more of alcohol by volume and which is fit for beverage purposes either alone or when diluted, mixed, or combined with other substances. “Controlled substances” or “Illegal Drugs” shall include all narcotics or drugs, the possession which is illegal under the laws of the State of _________ as defined under the Penal Code, Health and Safety Code, and related statutes.  “Enforcement Services” includes the salaries and benefits of police officers or other code enforcement personnel for the amount of time actually spent in responding to, or in remaining at, the party, gathering, or event and the administrative costs attributable to the incident; the actual cost of any medical treatment to injured police officers or other code enforcement personnel; and the cost of repairing any damaged City equipment or property; and the cost arising from the use of any damaged equipment in responding to or remaining at the party, gathering or event. “Juvenile” means any person under eighteen (18) years of age.  “Guardian” means (1) a person who, under court order, is the guardian of the person of a minor; or (2) a public or private agency with whom a minor has been placed by the court.  “Minor” means any person under twenty-one (21) years of age. “Parent” means a person who is a natural parent, adoptive parent, or step-parent of another person. “Party, gathering, or event” means a group of persons who have assembled or are assembling for a party, social occasion or social activity. “Person(s) responsible for the event” includes, but is not limited to: (1) The person(s) who owns, rents, leases, or otherwise has control of the premises where the party, gathering or event takes place; (2) the person(s) in charge of the premises; or (3) the person(s) who organized the event. If a person responsible for the event is a juvenile, then the parents or guardians of that juvenile will be jointly and severally liable for the costs incurred for enforcement services pursuant to this chapter. “Special security assignment” means the assignment of police officers and services to a location of a party, gathering or event that violates the law.
SECTION 5. Section _______ shall read as follows: Section _______. Police services at large parties, gatherings or events requiring a response. When a large party, gathering or event occurs on private property and a police officer at the scene determines that there is a threat to the public peace, health, safety or general welfare, the person(s) responsible for the event shall be liable for the cost of providing police services for the special security assignment to control the threat to the public peace, health, safety or general welfare, or for the actual cost of enforcement services provided during the response as a result of conduct violating Section ________ or ________.
SECTION 6. Section ________ shall read as follows: Section _______. Unsupervised Consumption of Alcohol by Minor at Private Property. a) Except as permitted by state law, no minor shall consume in any public place or any place open to the public any alcoholic beverage and/or controlled substance, or consume at any place not open to the public any alcoholic beverage and/or controlled substance. b) A violation of this section shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $1,000 or by imprisonment for a period of not to exceed six (6) months, or by both fine and imprisonment.
SECTION 7. Section _________ shall read as follows: Section ________. Serving Alcohol and/or controlled substances to Minors at Parties, Gatherings or Events on Private Property. Except as permitted by _____________ Constitution, no person shall permit, allow, or host a party, gathering, or event at his or her place of residence or other private property, place, or premises under his or her control where three (3) or more persons are present and alcoholic beverages and/or illegal drugs are being consumed by any minor. A violation of this section shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $1,000 or by imprisonment for a period of not to exceed six (6) months, or by both fine and imprisonment. This section shall not apply to conduct involving the use of alcohol which occurs exclusively between a minor child and his or her parent or legal guardian.
SECTION 8. Section ________ shall read as follows: Section _______. Police services fee.
(a) The police services fee shall include the cost of personnel and equipment but shall not exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for a single incident. Such fee is deemed to be supplementary to all other applicable fines and penalties, and the city does not hereby waive its right to seek reimbursement for actual costs exceeding the above amount through other legal remedies or procedures.
(b) The amount of such fee charged shall be deemed a debt to the city of the person or persons receiving such services, and if minors, their parents or guardians. Any person owing money shall be liable in an action brought in the name of the city for recovery of such amount, including reasonable attorney fees.
SECTION 9. Section _________ shall read as follows: Section ________. Appeals. Any individual aggrieved by the decision of the chief of police to assess any penalty under the provisions of this article may appeal to the city council as provided in this code.
SECTION 10. Section ________ shall read as follows: Section 17-223. Reservation of Legal Options. The City of _________ does not waive its right to seek reimbursement for actual costs of enforcement services through other legal remedies or procedures. The procedure provided for in this chapter is in addition to any other statute, ordinance or law, civil or criminal. This chapter in no way limits the statutory authority of peace officers or private citizens to make arrests for any criminal offense arising out of conduct regulated by this Article.
SECTION 11. All existing sections of Chapter___, Article ___ are repealed as of the effective date of this ordinance.
SECTION 12. SEPARABILITY. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this ordinance is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct, and independent provision and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions hereof.
SECTION 13. That as of the effective date of this ordinance, all ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.
SECTION 14. That the City Clerk is hereby directed to certify to the passage of this ordinance and to cause the same or a summary to be published, in accordance with Government Code section ______, to be published one time within ___ days of its passage in the _________, a newspaper of general circulation, printed and published in the City of ____________.

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