Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mercer Island passes state's first social host law

From the Mercer Island Patch:

Mercer Island City Council approved an ordinance Monday night intended to prevent underage drinking by fining local homeowners — with few exceptions — where teens 18 and younger were found drinking alcohol. The civil ordinance is the first of its kind in the state.

The council voted 6-1 to hold persons responsible by having to pay a fine for failing to prevent underage drinking at gatherings on property they own or otherwise control. The civil fines of $250 per infraction would be levied if police find evidence of drinking by minors 18 years old and under — even if the drinking occurred without their knowledge.

In some places, social host laws include criminal penalties.  NBC's Today Show recently covered a story about a California father who may face jail time for underage drinking that occurred in his home. 

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