Social host ordinances give communities a practical tool for holding adults accountable. When law enforcement officials arrive on the scene of an underage drinking party, it’s
often difficult to determine who provided the alcohol. Therefore, laws that prohibit furnishing alcohol to youth under 21 can be hard to enforce. With social host liability, the focus is on where the drinking takes place, rather than who provided the alcohol.
The prospects of being held liable for underage drinking parties can:
Act as an effective deterrent
Provide incentive for hosts to be vigilant
Encourage parents to prevent parties while away
Hold underage youth partially accountable
Recover costs of law enforcements need to repeatedly respond to the same party site
Officially establish the city zero-tolerance policy
Click here to print the Social Host Ordinance brochure: SOCIAL HOST ORDINANCE
SAMHSA's underage drinking prevention campaign helps parents and caregivers start talking to their children early about the dangers of alcohol. For resources on how to talk with your children about alcohol, visit: https://www.samhsa.gov/underage-drinking/parent-resources
One of Brown County USAC's environmental strategies includes developing a Social Norms Campaign which will be called the Truth Is...campaign. The campaign is based on social norms theory - that much of people's behavior is influenced by their perceptions of what is "normal" or "typical." The problem is that we often severely misperceive the typical behaviors or attitudes of our peers. For example, if students believe that the majority of their peers are drinking alcohol and/or using drugs, then they are more likely to drink alcohol and/or use drugs. Using positive Social Norms on a community level to inform students that the majority of their peers do not use drugs or alcohol, can lead them to change their behavior.
We will be working to close the gap between what students believe others students are doing and what other students "ARE" actually doing in order to reduce youth alcohol and drug use. Brown County USAC will also use this campaign as a way to educate all of Brown County on what is the norm and how we SHOULD perceive underage alcohol and drug use. Working together as a community with hopefully make Brown County a healthy and rewarding place to live in.
USAC worked with the Brown County high schools and students that have chosen to participate in this campaign: New Ulm High School, Cathedral High School, Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s and Sleepy Eye Public High School. USAC launched this campaign in August! Watch for the billboards, posters and table tents that will be displayed throughout Brown County.
Linkenbach, J.W. (1999). Application of social norms marketing to a variety of health issues. Wellness Management, 15(3).
Project Sticker Shock is designed to reach adults who might purchase alcohol legally and provide it to minors. Stickers warning about the penalties for furnishing alcohol to minors are placed on all multi-packs of beer and other alcohol products that might appeal to underage drinkers. The project represents a partnership between youth, retailers, concerned parents and community members, prevention professionals, and law enforcement with the goal of educating potential furnishers, raising public awareness about underage drinking, and strengthening the deterrent effect of the law against providing alcohol to minors.