San Bernardino, CA — The efforts of Big Bear’s Breakthrough Task Force will go before the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors in their meeting on Tuesday morning, as Supervisors will vote on the implementation of a Social Host Ordinance. As created by the Task Force and supporting agencies, including the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the ordinance would make it a crime for adults to allow minors to consume alcohol in their homes.
Per a statement issued by the Board of Supervisors: “Research by the American Medical Association shows that alcohol is the leading cause of death among teenagers. Easy access to alcohol, especially at parties or other social gatherings, is a clear threat to the health and safety of our youth. Social gatherings such as house parties have been shown to be the primary source for underage drinking, and higher incidences of ‘binge drinking’ occur at such gatherings. The County of San Bernardino may join the list of local governments now cracking down on parents who host parties with alcohol for minors. Implementing this ordinance will give parents some peace of mind when their children attend a party at a friend’s house. It would allow law enforcement to cite parents who allow underage youth to drink on their property or host a party at which underage minors consume alcohol.”
Per Third District County Supervisor Neil Derry, who brought the ordinance before the board on behalf of Big Bear Recovery Services and the Rim Youth Prevention Leadership Coalition, “Adults are knowingly renting mountain community vacation properties for unsupervised, underage drinking parties and feigning ignorance when law enforcement responds to calls for service. This law would hold these irresponsible adults accountable.”
Adds County Supervisors Chairman Gary Ovitt, “Some adults, believing that young people will be drinking anyway, think that providing them a safe place to do their drinking, even supplying them with alcohol, is the responsible thing to do. But the research does not substantiate this belief. In addition to drinking and driving, many other problems have been linked to underage drinking. These include an increased chance of developing a drinking problem later on in life. This Social Host Ordinance reduces the steady stream of alcohol for young people at house parties. It’s a tool for the community–not just law enforcement. It will force parents to think twice before they decide to host an underage drinking party.”