As parties for Homecoming and Halloween as well as other festivities take place where alcohol and minors could both be present, the Warwick Valley Prevention Coalition (WVPC) would like to remind residents about the Social Host Law.
Enacted in March 2016 by the Orange County Legislature, the Social Host Law was created to deter anyone under the age of 21 from breaking the law by consuming alcohol with the permission of a legal adult.
More than 80 percent of young people ages 10 to 18 say their parents are the leading influence on their decision whether to drink or not drink alcohol.
Coalition members, along with the Warwick Middle and High School, are participating in the “Parents Who Host, Lose the Most” public health media campaign by displaying signs to show their support. The campaign is designed to help prevent underage drinking and remind parents that it is unhealthy to provide alcohol for underage youth.
Those 18 or older can be held responsible for hosting a party where alcohol is present with heavy fines and possible jail time for repeat offenders, according to the Social Host Law.
First time offenders of the law are subjected to a $500 fine and a court ordered completion of an alcohol awareness program and/or an appropriate amount of community service.
“Breaking this law is very preventable,” said WVPC Coalition Coordinator Francesca Bryson, who recommends that parents limit the amount of alcohol present in their home to make sure there’s a limitation to access for underage individuals, as well as making sure that they are supervised.
For more information about the WVPC send an email to email@example.com, call 845-986-6422 or visit www.warwicknyprevention.org.