Mar 4, 2014 7:47 PM
Chico city council will be considering a new social host ordinance at Thursday night's meeting that attempts to crack down on underage drinking. If someone hosts a party where minors are drinking, the ordinance would fine the host $500 the first time and $1,000 for any subsequent offence within 12 months. "This specifically targets the serving of minors. There is no ordinance that targets this because right now we could have people serving minors in their home and because it’s in a private residence, it does not fall under any existing laws that we have," explained Tami Ritter, Chico City Councilmember.
This is following the call to action from Chico State about a year ago and trying to address the problem of off campus parties. “One of the biggest things that they wanted to address was parties in the home and change that for college students and create safer neighborhoods for college students. This directly does that. It looks at reducing underage and high risk drinking," said Amanda Montgomery of the Butte Youth Now Coalition.
Not everyone thinks the ordinance is the right solution. Many students say the focus should be on awareness and education. Not issuing fines. "I think it’s a little excessive. Not everyone's going to be watching who's coming into their party and asking right away how old you are," said Kaylee Eckhardt, Junior at Chico State University. "Instead of necessarily saying who is at these parties, maybe look into after the party. Drinking and driving... things like that instead of who's actually attending these events," said Thembiso Mawema, Junior at Chico State.
City officials say they've been working closely with the university and passing this ordinance would be a step in the right direction. "The university is really working hard to crack down on some of the alcohol issues and this is one more step in trying to get those issues under control," said Ritter.