The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

January 22, 2013

Social Host Ordinance moves forward

CLINTON — Adults will likely think twice about hosting alcohol parties for teens as the Social Host Ordinance is pushed forward by Clinton County officials.

The Clinton County Board of Supervisors on Monday approved the first reading of the Social Host Ordinance that punishes those who knowingly host alcohol parties for minors.

The ordinance would make it unlawful for any host to knowingly allow underage individuals to possess or consume alcohol on the premises of his or her property, even if the host is not present. There is no state law currently that addresses hosts providing a place for minors to drink. The ordinance is similar to state law for hosting a drug house or “gatherings.”

“This is not likely to go for statewide legislation, based on my discussion with state representatives,” County Attorney Mike Wolf said.

Parents who are out of town and are unaware that their children are hosting a party are safe from the law as long as reasonable steps were taken to prevent the party. Law enforcement and officials will look for repeated acts on the same property.

“It’s one other tool for law enforcement to enlist cooperation,” Wolf said.

For the most part there hasn’t been much opposition to the new law, but there are still some concerned skeptics, according to Candace Seitz, with the Area Substance Abuse Council and coordinator of Clinton County Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant Collaborative Group.

“Adults have questioned if it is an attack on their rights, but it really isn’t,” Seitz said, who brought forth the new ordinance. “It is a preventative measure and we appreciate the support from the community.”

While the law is commonly attributed to adults or parents, the host component can fall on anyone, even a minor.

“If a juvenile hosts, we can charge them, if the parents didn’t know,” Clinton County Deputy Sgt. Steve Cundiff said. “Instead of the parent, the son or daughter could be charged.”

Even college students hosting parties in their dorm rooms could be nabbed by the new legislation. County officials hope this new measure will push the seriousness of the issue and help law enforcement keep things in line.

“This will give the sheriff’s office a tool to talk to landowners,” Wolf said. “I really do not like sitting through vehicular homicides of teens.”

While the ordinance is not likely to become a statewide law at this time, it has benefits at the county level.

“A lot of these things like supplying alcohol to minors, underage drinking and hosting tend to get lumped together,” Wolf said. “The county can use its own common sense and discretion to determine how to go about enforcing it.”

Anyone convicted under the ordinance would be guilty of a simple misdemeanor and would be subject to a jail sentence of as much as 30 days and a fine of between $65 and $650.

Other actions:

· Supervisors adopted the Peddlers, Solicitors and Transient Merchants Ordinance. The ordinance requires peddlers, solicitors and transient merchants to apply for a license by filling out a detailed application along with a fee of $5. Any person convicted in violation of this ordinance shall be guilty of a simple misdemeanor and is subject to a penalty with a minimum fine of $65 and a maximum fine of $625 and/or imprisonment in jail for a period not to exceed 30 days.

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Fist bump photo Study: Fist bumps less germy than handshakes

    When it comes to preventing the spread of germs, maybe the president is on to something with his fondness for fist bumps.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rodden, Danny.jpg Indiana sheriff accused of lying about relationship with prostitute

    The sheriff of Clark County, Ind., faces an eight-count federal indictment that accuses him of lying about paying a prostitute for a sex act and giving her a badge so that she could claim a discount rate at a hotel.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clinton judge hears motion to suppress in drug case

    District Court Judge Stuart Werling will consider a motion of suppression against a warrant that led to the arrest of a Clinton man on drug charges.

    July 30, 2014

  • David Johnson Clinton grad, NDSU picked to lead MVC

     David Johnson, the former Clinton High standout now entering his senior season at the University of Northern Iowa, was named to the preseason All-Missouri Valley Football Conference first team that was announced Tuesday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • School supplies offered at events

    With students going back to school soon, Clinton families will have two opportunities to receive free back-to-school supplies.

    July 30, 2014

  • Showboat follies Iafrate set to leave Showboat Theatre

    As the summer season nears its end, the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre on Tuesday honored the past and said hello to the future.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sidewinders photo Debating decibels: Finally Fridays, Showboat at odds over concert volume

    Two events will take center stage at the riverfront Friday. And if it’s anything like the last time these entities shared the same evening, both crowds may want to take note of the decibel levels coming from the bandshell.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140727-AMX-GUNS271.jpg Beretta, other gun makers heading to friendlier states

    In moving south and taking 160 jobs with it, Beretta joins several other prominent gunmakers abandoning liberal states that passed tough gun laws after the Newtown shooting.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video