New law targets underage drinking at house parties
Residents who host gatherings that allow underage drinking could face fines of up to $500 under a new social host ordinance that received initial approval from the Redlands City Council Tuesday.
In addition to the fines, the measure would also allow police to recoup any costs associated with responding to loud parties or unruly gatherings. Police would also be authorized to disperse any gathering if they determine that people under the age of 21 have been drinking alcohol.
Fines would range from $100 for a first offense up to $500 for each subsequent violation within a year of the first violation.
“The point of this ordinance is to address underage drinking at house parties,” Redlands Police Lt. Travis Martinez said. “Underage drinking is illegal and can lead to all sorts of problems for everyone. Providing a place for underage consumption of alcohol is now illegal in the City of Redlands.”
The Redlands Police Department offers the following suggestions on how to make sure party hosts are in compliance with the City’s new social host ordinance:
- Control access to alcohol at the gathering.
- Control the quantity of alcoholic beverages at the gathering.
- Verify the age of the persons attending the gathering by inspecting a driver’s license or other government-issued ID.
- Supervise the activities of persons under 21.
- If underage drinking is taking place at your gathering, immediately ask people to leave and notify the police.
The new social host ordinance is scheduled for a second reading by the Redlands City Council at its Feb. 5 meeting, and would go into effect 30 days after final approval.
For additional information about the social host ordinance, please contact the Redlands Police Department at (909) 798-7681.