Earlier this week, the City Council in Rainier, a city southeast of Olympia, passed the state's second social host law. The goal of the new ordinance is to curb underage drinking.
If an underage gathering involves alcohol, the ordinance will hold responsible the person who owns, rents, leases or controls the property where the party happened. Those held liable will face civil repercussions including fines.
Social host laws are one tool that communities can use to reduce underage alcohol use. The ordinance encourages parents and property owners to work together to prevent underage drinking. "This isn't just about enforcement, it's about educating our community that there is never a safe time for minors to consume alcohol," said Rainier Mayor Randy Schleis.
Mercer Island was the first Washington community to pass a social host ordinance. The first citation was given and the fine was paid earlier this year.