Last fall, many Minnesota cities adopted a social host ordinance that makes it a misdemeanor to host or allow an event where underage drinking occurs. The reason for this ordinance was to place blame on one individual, primarily the person who organizes or hosts a party or event where underage drinking takes place at parties.
Recently, police ticketed two men for hosting a party that led to more than 50 citations against 35 people. The criminal citations cited these people who are responsible for hosting this gathering where underage drinking occurred, regardless of whether they supplied the alcohol. The maximum penalty is a $700 fine and up to nine days in jail.
Minnesota Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) encouraged this ordinance because it shows how important it is to address the how and where the problem takes place and not simply what the problem is. This ordinance imposes the responsibility on the hosts of parties to ensure that their party goers are not underage and to be aware of the problems of underage drinking.