A new study on teen drinking published in The Journal of Primary Prevention explored which young people were likely to have parties at home, what factors were associated with the presence of alcohol at parties and who supplied the alcohol.
Researchers found that about a quarter of teens reported having had a party at their house in the past 12 months and 39 percent said alcohol was at their last party. Around 94 percent of the teens who hosted a party with alcohol said their parent or parents either definitely knew or probably knew about the alcohol.
The survey involved 1,121 teens living in cities across California who interviewed over the phone in 2011 and 2012.
In one California community, the City Council adopted a new law that could require residents who allow minors to consume alcohol in their homes pay fines, reported The San Francisco Examiner.
The fines start at $1,500 for the first offense and will go up to $2,500 for a third offense.
Daly City came to its decision after a North County Prevention Partnership presented results from its Youth Access Survey, which polled Pacifica and Daly City high school students. The survey revealed around 44 percent of teens said they knew kids who drank in private residences, according to the Examiner report.
In late November, Mesa, Arizona, police had proposed an ordinance that would make parents accountable for underage drinking in their homes, reported Tri Valley Central.
Under the proposed Mesa ordinance, adults who are either aware or unaware of underage drinking in their homes could face serious consequences ranging from a $250 fine to a criminal misdemeanor charge.
In Blaine County, Idaho, residents who are caught hosting a party where underage drinking occurs, could face criminal prosecution under the county's proposed "social host" ordinance, reported Idaho Mountain Express.
Michael David, the Drug Coalition executive director, told the Express that residential parties have become the main outlet for minors to obtain alcohol.
“This is a small minority of parents that are doing this, but the small minority is enough to provide a venue for underage drinking," David said.
While these social-host ordinances and similar laws have garnered community support, not everyone agrees tougher laws are the best solution.
Daly City Councilman Mike Guingona said his town's initiative is "a law in search of a problem," according to the San Francisco Examiner report.
Guingona is concerned the law will not only burden low-income, immigrant, and minority parents, but will make the city spend more money on hearings.
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