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Teen Drinking Problems Illicit New Laws in Orange County

By May 15, 2008 No Comments

Today in the Orange County Register a new law is under consideration to discourage the rampant teen drinking problem. If Mission Viejo and Laguna Hills adopt this ordinance they will be the first cities in Orange County to implement this new law.

More cities cracking down on parents allowing teen boozing
City councils in Mission Viejo and Laguna Hills might be county’s first to impose new law to fight underage drinking.

“With the prom season under way and neighborhoods under siege with drunken teens, public urination and violence, city officials in two South County cities hope a new law could crash these out-of-control parties.

In Mission Viejo, the City Council voted last week to draft a new ordinance and will consider it at Monday night’s meeting. Proposed by Mayor Trish Kelley, the social host underage drinking ordinance would hold adults accountable for teen drinking and could result in $1,000 fines. It could also require adults to pay for law enforcement response costs as well as costs associated with repeated calls to the same address.”

The “Social Host Ordinance” is aimed at reducing the venues teens have for consuming alcohol by creating steep fees in hope of increasing adult supervision and accountability for teen drinking on personal property.

Local communities have witnessed increase in alcohol related property damage, driving related arrests, injuries and public disturbances.

“Since May 2007, Mission Viejo deputies have responded to reports of 1,325 loud parties. A good percentage of these have involved teens, said sheriff’s Lt. Steve Bernardi, chief of police services for the city. In 2007 there were 18 crashes in which underage drivers were arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Ten people were injured, and in 11 cases, juveniles told deputies they had been drinking at a party, at a friend’s house or at home.”

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