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New Laws Target Hosts of Underage Drinking Parties

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

spilled beer empty beer bottles liquor plastic cupsStates and local governments are passing ordinances that hold adults responsible for hosting underage drinking—even if the adults don’t supply the alcohol. According to the Wall Street Journal, 28 states have adopted tough “social host” laws, which impose penalties on hosts who permit underage drinking on their property even if the hosts don’t supply the alcohol and even if no one gets hurt. Other states have passed more lenient laws that penalize hosts only if someone is hurt by underage drinking. Legislators are passing the laws based on reports that underage drinkers frequently binge drink and get access to alcohol at house parties. The laws assume that hosts know or should know about the underage drinking. James Mosher, a consultant who maintains the Alcohol Policy Information System, told Wall Street Journal, “This is a relatively rapidly changing area and it’s going in one direction, trending toward more liability.”

Source: Wall Street Journal Party Laws Put Hosts on Hook

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