Mar 5, 2014 3:07 AM
The Chico City Council passed a social host ordinance that would penalize party host who provide alcohol to minors at house parties, a tool which would help fight the alcohol abuse in the community.
Councilmembers voted 6-0 with Mary Goloff absent. The proposed law will return for a final adoption on March 25 and will be implemented within 30 days after.
The law will crack down on underage drinking by imposing liability on people hosting or responsible for events on private property where alcohol is possessed and consumed by minors.
Residents would face a $500 fine for a first offense and $1,000 for the second violation within 12 months.
“The status quo just won’t work anymore. It’s a culture shift for our community that we need to address,” Councilmember Ann Schwab said.
Chico State University President Paul Zingg told the councilors that he strongly supports the social host ordinance because it will help provide a safer community.
The Chico Police Department is currently working with their officers in understanding the language of the social host law and how the officers will be implementing the ordinance while on duty, Capt. Lori Macphail said.
The social host law will be enforced by the Chico Police Department which can fine the responsible party who hosted the event.
The ordinance just comes a little over a month after two underage Chico State students’ 20-year-old Austin Silver and 19-year-old Bryant Mata-Adams, both freshman’s died after being involved in a DUI crash.
According to the California Highway Patrol, 18-year-old Diego Arriaga-Rodriguez, the driver of the 1998 BMW was traveling westbound on Bidwell Avenue west of Rose Avenue at an unknown speed when he reportedly missed a curve and went off the road.
The BMW he was driving overturned off an embankment and landed on its roof into the Big Chico Creek.
All three men had to be extricated from the vehicle, according to the press release.
Silver suffered major head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene,Both Mata-Adams and Arriaga-Rodriguez were taken to Enloe Medical Center for treatment.
Arriaga-Rodriguez was allegedly found to be under the influence during the time of the accident.
Mata-Adams passed away on January 28, while Arriaga-Rodriguez was transferred to a San Jose Hospital.
The California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control is currently investigating on how the three underage students obtained alcohol the night of the crash.