San Jose Considers Law To Punish Parents For Teen Drinking

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – The city council is weighing the benefits of a so-called “social host” ordinance that would make parents criminally liable if their children were caught drinking at home.

The momentum for such a law started building after a fatal crash involving two Leland High School students.

“We want a social host ordinance. We want to stop this,” was the message Gabrielle Antolovich said she heard over and over during a community forum at the school shortly after the Sept. 21 tragedy.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Antolovich, the executive director of a non-profit drug and alcohol education group called Voice United, said the city manager could essentially cut and paste laws already on the books in nine other Santa Clara County cities.

A similar law governing the unincorporated areas of the county has become an invaluable tool in curbing underage drinking, said Sgt. Rick Sung, spokesman for the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department.

“Now the parents are more aware,” he said, because they risk fines and potential arrest.

The rules committee of the city council is researching those laws. A community forum on the issue is scheduled for December 3.

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