Redlands Approves Social Host Liability Ordinance

Redlands, which a few years ago faced the challenge of dealing with huge outdoor ravesĀ  where underage drinking and drug taking proliferated, is now reaching to end or limit drinking in smaller, less public and even intimate venues.
A social host ordinance given tentative approval by the city council this week makes it illegal to provide a place for a minor to consume alcohol.
According to Mario Saucedo, co-chairman of the Common Vision Coalition, under-age drinking is a problem in Redlands and needs to be controlled. Police department figures show that in 2011 officers were called out 1,900 times to parties, mostly in residential areas, where underage drinking sometimes appeared to be a factor.
Police chief Mark Garcia and members of the coalition believe the social host ordinance will give police the authority and leverage they need to issue citations to adults supplying alcohol to minors that will discourage the practice. Under state law, law enforcement officials must have compelling evidence that a minor obtained alcohol directly from an adult, usually in the form of an eyewitness, confession from the minor or a video, to take action. The ordinance lowers the bar, such that police will now need only to satisfy themselves that a minor was at an event where an adult provided alcohol.
The ordinance imposes civil fines from $750 to $2,500 for participating in a circumstance where underage drinking takes place.

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