The focus today is on Underage Drinking and Alcohol Misuse.
The SACK Coalition has done extensive work over the years to reduce and deter youth access to alcohol in Kanabec County. In 2010, both the City of Mora and Kanabec County passed ordinances establishing penalties for any person hosting an event or gathering where alcohol is preset and is being possessed or consumed by persons under age 21. These ordinances are often refereed to the Social Host Ordinance.
So what exactly is a Social Host Ordinance?
The Social Host Ordinance holds accountable the individuals responsible for underage drinking on property they own, lease, rent, occupy, or control. It is already illegal to give alcohol to a minor, but this ordinance gives law enforcement the ability to charge individuals if they knowingly provide a place for underage consumption to occur.
You may also be criminally liable for underage drinking that takes place on your property. The first offense could land you 90 days in jail and/or a $1000 fine.
Are there any exceptions?
This ordinance does not apply to…
- Conduct solely between an underage person and his/her parents in the parent’s home.
- Legally protected religious observances.
- Facilities otherwise licensed (bars, liquor stores, etc.).
- Situations where underage persons are lawfully in possession of alcohol during the course of employment.
- Law enforcement activities supervised by a law enforcement agency.
Can I be liable if my tenant has an underage drinking party on my rental property?
- No. If you did not know about the party.
- Yes. If you know about the party or had reason to know that underage drinking was occurring and did nothing to prevent it.
Will I be held liable if I am away for the weekend and my kids have a party at my house?
Maybe. It depends on whether or not you participated in hosting or allowed the party to occur when you knew alcohol was present.
Be a Good Neighbor
The Substance Abuse Coalition of Kanabec County (SACK) believes Neighborhood Watch participants can help prevent substance abuse.
Be on the look out for:
- underage parties in fields, barns/sheds, etc.
- youth obtaining alcohol from adults at parties or outside of retail establishments
- unknown vehicles frequenting a location at all times of the day or night
- large gatherings of cars or people at homes when parents or guardians are out of town
To view a copy of the Kanabec County Social Host Ordinance click here.
To view a copy of the City of Mora’s Social Host Ordinance click here.