By The Gazette Editorial Board
Parents hosting parties for teens in their own homes or on their property should be a positive thing. Adults are there to prevent unsafe behavior, such as underage drinking. But some of these hosts don’t accept that responsibility. They effectively throw up their hands and say something like “aah, let the kids drink. They will do it somewhere anyway.” Great example for our youth, eh? And a potentially dangerous one.
In 2011, Jones County OK’d an ordinance making it illegal for anyone hosting a gathering on the host’s premises to knowingly allow underage people to drink or possess alcohol, regardless of whether the host is present. That’s an appropriate law.
About one-third of Iowa’s counties have such an ordinance. And a bill calling for a state law is still alive.
A statewide social host bill makes sense because party participants don’t consider county borders. And as Jennifer Husmann of the Jones County Safe and Healthy Youth Coalition told a Gazette reporter, “Underage drinking and other youth substance abuse issues start with adults. … we set the environment for the children.”
Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org or (319) 398-8262