SAN JOSE (KCBS)— San Jose lawmakers passed a social host law this week, but a local watchdog group says it doesn’t go far enough.
Under the law which was passed on Tuesday, homeowners are subject to fines for underage drinking on their property whether they know it’s taking place or not.
Similar ordinances are being passed across the country.
Michael Scippa with the Marin-based industry watchdog group Alcohol Justice said social host laws are a good step, but divert attention from the aggressive marketing and sales tactics toward teens by the alcohol industry.
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“It’s saying we’re not responsible, just the parents are, just the property owners are. We have a problem with that,” Scippa said.
Councilwoman Nancy Pyle led the effort to pass the law to do something about drunk-driving accidents after parties.
“It’s the leaving and getting in a car and getting themselves killed is the part that drove me to do this, Pyle said.
On Thursday the San Mateo County District Attorney’s office announced it was dropping charges against a Menlo Park couple who hosted a party last year where police found 44 underage drinkers.
Assistant D.A. Al Serrato said Menlo Park has no social host law and prosecutors didn’t have enough evidence to prove the couple knowingly furnished liquor.
“If Menlo Park or other cities passed ordinances specifically addressing a party where alcohol is there, they might be able to take action on a more local level,” Serrato said.
Marin County has social host laws at the county level for unincorporated property.
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