Wednesday, July 18 , 2018, 8:07 pm | Fair 68º


Local News

Countywide Social Host Liability Ordinance Takes Effect Dec. 1

The law makes it illegal for anyone hosting a party to allow minors to consume alcohol

Hosting a party? Then know the law.

A countywide Social Host Liability Ordinance was passed by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors on June 15 and will go into effect Dec. 1.

The law makes it illegal for anyone hosting a party to knowingly allow minors to consume alcohol at that party. If cited, the host will face a civil penalty of $500 plus a required educational class for the first offense, $1,000 for a second offense and $2,000 for a third offense.

Locally, data from the California Healthy Kids Survey gathered from seventh-, ninth- and 11th-graders throughout the county show that alcohol remains a serious issue. In 2008-09, 24 percent of 11th-graders reported drinking alcohol at parties, while 4 percent of 11th-graders reported obtaining alcohol from their own home.

In focus groups conducted by Santa Barbara City Alcohol and Drug Prevention Programs, 91 percent of teens admitted that “home” is the No. 1 place to obtain and consume alcohol. Additionally, adolescent participation in alcohol and drug treatment programs throughout the county has continued to climb from 363 youths in 1999 to 1,772 in 2004, indicating that alcohol and other drug use is a significant problem among the local youth population.

There are significant community impacts related to underage drinking. For instance, the economic cost of alcohol use by youth in California including traffic crashes, violent crimes, burns, drowning, suicide attempts, fetal alcohol syndrome, alcohol poisoning and treatment is more than $6.5 billion per year.

Social Host Ordinances have been passed nationwide over the years to create healthier and safer communities. SHOs have proven to be effective tools to reduce the number of underage drinking parties, reduce underage drinking, underage binge drinking, drinking and driving, and to establish healthy expectations for teens, adults and communities.

For more information, call 805.614.1338 or 805.681.4907, or click here to find the new law (Chapter 48) under county codes.

— John Doyel is interim manager of the Santa Barbara County Alcohol & Drug Program.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >