Throw the Party, Own the Consequences
Homecoming is this week which is a very exciting time for our communities. Don't forget about the Social Host Ordinance that Clinton County has.
Did you know it is illegal to host underage drinking parties and to provide alcohol to persons under age 21? Clinton County passed a social host ordinance in February of 2013, which prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under the age of 21 at gatherings where persons knowingly allow or permit the underage persons to drink alcoholic beverages on property they own or control. Any person convicted in violation of this ordinance shall be guilty of a simple misdemeanor and is subject to a penalty with a minimum of $65 and a maximum fine of $650 and/or jail time for up to 30 days.
During homecoming celebrations/activities, many well-meaning parents/adults believe that it is alright for youth to drink on their premises as long as they give them their keys so there is no risk of drinking and driving. However, are you aware of the other risks included with underage drinking? Youth who drink alcohol are more likely to experience:
- School problems, such as higher absence and poor or failing grades.
- Social problems, such as fighting and lack of participation in youth activities.
- Legal problems, such as arrest for driving or physically hurting someone while drunk.
- Physical problems, such as hangovers or illnesses.
- Unwanted, unplanned, and unprotected sexual activity.
- Disruption of normal growth and sexual development.
- Physical and sexual assault.
- Higher risk for suicide and homicide.
- Alcohol-related car crashes and other unintentional injuries, such as burns, falls, and drowning.
- Memory problems.
- Abuse of other drugs.
- Changes in brain development that may have life-long effects.
- Death from alcohol poisoning.
Youth who start drinking before age 15 years are 6 TIMES more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after age 21 years.
Excessive drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths among underage youth each year, and cost the U.S. billions in economic costs. So remember, if you throw the party, own the consequences.