The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

66° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Social Host’ law passed

    Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer speaks with reporters after press conference on the adoption of the Social Host Ordinance by the Arizona Board of Supervisors. The goal of the ordinance is to reduce the amount of underage drinking.
    Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer speaks with reporters after press conference on the adoption of the “”Social Host”” Ordinance by the Arizona Board of Supervisors. The goal of the ordinance is to reduce the amount of underage drinking.

    With the recent passage of the Pima County “”Social Host”” Ordinance, property owners who are over the age of 21 are held accountable for underage drinking on any property that is under their control.

    The ordinance, which was adopted by the Pima County Board of Supervisors on March 3, is set to take effect tomorrow.

    “”Underage drinking continues to be the number one substance abuse problem facing youth in Arizona,”” Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said during a press conference yesterday at the Pima County Consolidated Justice Court east courtyard, 115 N. Church St. “”Adults must learn that there is no such thing as safe drinking for anyone under the age of 21.””

    Adults who host underage drinking parties could be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail, and up to $2,500 in fines, Lt. Karl Woolridge, of the Pima Country Sheriff’s department said.

    “”Just because you’re charged with this social host ordinance, doesn’t mean you can’t be charged with other things at the same time,”” Woolridge said. “”Even if you didn’t specifically provide the liquor to the minor, just allowing them to be a situation like that if they are underage could result in a criminal charge.””

    However, Woolridge said the community would not see a police build-up to enforce the ordinance because of a hiring freeze.

    “”Ultimately the enforcement of these ordinances can reduce calls for service. It can reduce the number of loud party calls we have to go to,”” Lt. Mike Pryor of the Tucson Police Department said. “”So even though we’re not dedicating extra officers, it is our hope that this is one more tool to reduce victimization.””

    He said part of the police strategy is responding to parties early and stopping them before incidents happen. The City of Tucson passed a similar ordinance two years ago, and Pryor said this early-response strategy has been effective.

    “”Violent crime has gone down. Sexual assaults are down. Aggravated assaults are down. There is a direct link between the victimization of our youth and underage drinking,”” Pryor said.

    Tanya Valladares, Ms. Pima County 2009 and UA physiology junior, endorsed the underage drinking crackdown by the county.

    “”As a member of the Greek Life at the University of Arizona, I’ve seen firsthand the negative effects of underage drinking. I’ve heard the stories of friends being sexually assaulted,”” she said. “”This ordinance will help reduce off-site underage drinking parties held by fraternities at private houses.””

    Brewer told reporters after the press conference that she “”would not be surprised”” if similar ordinances were adopted statewide.

    “”I hope it has an effect on the adults in our community (so they can) understand that they now are going to be held responsible. They will be prosecuted and held up to the letter of the law,”” she said. “”I really believe that this is really going to make a difference, such an important difference, for our youth and for our communities.””

    More to Discover
    Activate Search