Parents, picture this…
It’s a Saturday evening going into the night. You are having a get-together with some close friends and family. You are talking, laughing, and drinking with your loved ones, and you see that your child and his/her peers, though well under the legal age to drink, have snuck off with a couple of beers for themselves to drink as they “enjoy” the party. One of your guests tries to notify you of the actions of these minors, but you aren’t worried. You respond by saying that you started drinking at that age as well and it’s like a “rite of passage”–you say they are at least “under supervision” being at the house. Suddenly, you hear a hard knock at the door. When you open it, you see an officer standing there proceeding to write you a citation. As you are in complete upset and confusion, he proceeds to tell you that as he was driving by, patrolling the neighborhood, he saw your teen and his/her friends drinking in front of your house. He continues and says you have violated the Social Host Ordinance laws in the area and you are being held liable for underage drinking because it occurred on your property. Today it was a fine, but he warns you of possible jail time next. You take the citation, and turn to your child and guest in complete shock and embarrassment…
“Supervision” DOES NOT mean safe, so please do NOT TO BE A PARTY to teenage drinking! Even “under supervision”, supplying alcohol to teens is NOT SAFE! Consuming alcohol during adolescence halts and damages the development of the teenage brain and body. It can also predispose them to alcohol addiction or addiction to other drugs and substances. Supplying teens with alcohol is also ILLEGAL! Teens most easily access alcohol at home or the home of a friend. Social Host Ordinances are active in our community to discourage adults from providing alcohol to minors as a means to curb the prevalence of underage drinking by halting this way of access. It provides penalties for adults who allow youth to consume alcohol in their homes or on the property they own or lease. Educating other parents and youth about the potential for underage drinking and its dangers brings awareness to the issue before it’s too late until the next parent or teen suffers from the consequences of underage drinking.
AS A REMINDER: As a social host, you have the following responsibilities…
- Refusing to supply alcohol to anyone underage anywhere on your property
- Being visible when there are parties on your property
- Hiding, tracking, and properly locking away any alcohol on the premises
- Reporting any parties with underage drinking to the local police department of the Cobb’s Sheriff’s Office at 770-499-4719
First offenses will have you fined $150+ and the following offenses cost $500+.
Read more on the social host ordinance…
Check out some of the resources below regarding alcohol awareness and underage drinking prevention!
Talking to Your Teen: Underage Drinking
“Talk. They Hear You.”®: SAMHSA Campaign
Download the “Talk. They Hear You.”® App or text “TALK” to 85775 for conversation starter ideas and tips!