In response to the devastating and wide ranging consequences of underage drinking such as alcohol toxicity, sexual assaults and other forms of violence, traffic fatalities and crashes, and suicide, the local government of Nassau County enacted the Social Host Liability Laws, which is believed to be a sufficient tool in combating the county’s continuing underage alcohol consumption.
Under the social host liability laws, adults over 18 years old who supply or serve alcohol to any person under the legal drinking age of 21 years old in the formers home or do not take steps to stop minors from doing so once they become aware of the latter’s actions can be held accountable (McKay). The Social Host Law of Nassau County therefore is an excellent plan in reducing the enduring problem of underage alcohol consumption not only in the aforesaid county but as well in the United States as a whole.
Studies revealed that a young person’s own home or from persons over 18 years old who purchase alcohol for them is the most common source of alcohol for the young individuals. Underage drinking generally takes place at somebody’s residence, a residence that is customarily owned by an adult. In Nassau County surveys, it is reported that approximately 70 percent of high school seniors drink alcohol at parties in homes (“Mejias and Legislature Hold public Hearing on Proposed Social Host law’ to Deter Underage Drinking”).
Consequently, parents and other adults will clearly be deterred from hosting underage parties as well as purchasing and providing alcohol for underage youth because of the implementation of social host liability laws. Drinking alcohol should not be considered as an inevitable part of growing up, contrary to what several adults believe, and therefore unacceptable. A clear message is sent by social host liability laws to adults that it is not acceptable to provide alcohol to underage youth.
The underage consumption of alcohol is not part of growing as it often leads to neighborhood vandalism, accidental injuries, physical altercations, alcohol abuse, excessive noise disturbances necessitating local law enforcement interventions and the commission of violent crimes including sexual assaults and other related offences (Mejias 1). It is difficult to enforce laws against adults who provide alcohol to persons under the legal drinking age in the absence of a social host law.
The law therefore is advantageous because of its strong deterrent effect. The penalties for violating the social host law carries $250 fine for first offence; $500 fine for second offence; and $1,000 and/or a maximum of one year in jail for third and subsequent offences (McKay). As such, providers of alcoholic beverages will therefore be easily held liable and reprimanded as a consequence of their acts of providing the subject prohibited to underage person. Finally, social host liability laws are effective based on a number of researches.
In an investigation of the entire 50 states in the country, reductions in heavy drinking and drinking-driving were linked with the deterrent effects of social host laws (“Social Host Liability”). Alcohol kills young people at a ratio of 6. 5 times than the deaths caused from all prohibited drugs; and alcohol is a factor in almost half of all teenager car crash incidences (Mejias and Legislature…”). Conclusion Numerous people in Nassau County may not recognize the immediate detrimental effects of providing or serving alcoholic beverages to persons under the legal drinking age.
It is important therefore that laws like the Social Host Laws to be implemented in order to have a strong deterrent tool against adults who perpetrate the aforesaid acts. Without a doubt, this local law is very advantageous as it will serve to discourage the consumption of alcoholic drinks by individuals under 21 years old as well as the provisions of alcoholic beverages by persons over 18 years old by holding the latter accountable when they allow the underage to consume the prohibited drinks at their residences.