Already State Law, NEW City Ordinance Makes Hosting Underage Drinking Parties Illegal in Snoqualmie

My daughter asked us once to let her friends come to our home after prom for a party…. to take the keys, be in charge. She was honest, telling us what we already suspected – that they were going to drink and she thought they should do it someplace safe.

We said no. They moved on to the next parent. I am told this is not an uncommon request of teens during prom and homecoming season.

According to Washington State Law, “It is unlawful for any person to sell, give, or otherwise supply liquor to any person under the age of twenty-one years or permit any person under that age to consume liquor on his or her premises or on any premises under his or her control.”  [By law, there are certain exceptions, though.]

It seems the City of Snoqualmie just made it tougher for parents to step around the state law if they choose to host an underage party within city limits  –  by putting a new ordinance on the books related to underage drinking.

The Snoqualmie City Council recently passed a law that prohibits underage gatherings – or  those gatherings where an adult(s)party fine knowingly or unknowingly hosts underage drinking parties serving anyone under 21.

The Snoqualmie Police Department reports that since 2010, it has responded to three to four underage gatherings each year. SPD Chief McCulley says the new law gives his officers the “necessary tools to effectively respond to unlawful juvenile parties.”

Chief McCulley also sees the new law as a prevention tool, saying, “For parents, this law should serve as a way to educate peers and juveniles on the dangers, as well as the liabilities, related to underage drinking parties.”

Per the new law, the responsible person(s) hosting gatherings where underage persons consume alcoholic beverages will be subject to a civil infraction with a fine of $250 for each day that any violation occurs. The “Responsible Person” includes the person(s) who organizes, supervises, sponsors,or controls access to the underage gathering.

 

According to a City of Snoqualmie press release, some parents believe that if their children are going to drink alcohol, it is safer to take their keys away and let them drink at home. However, what is not considered is the wide range of harmful and sometimes devastating consequences that underage drinking can have, including automobile accidents, physical and sexual assault, suicide, and serious accidental injuries related to falls, among many others.

Snoqualmie Police Department Tips for Preventing “Underage Gatherings”

  • Do not allow underage drinking parties in your home or supply alcohol to those under 21.
  • Talk to your children about not providing alcohol to their underage siblings and friends.
  • Be at home when your teen has a party to be sure there is no alcohol use.
  • If you are going to be away overnight, have a relative or neighbor check on your children or have your children spend the night at a friend or relative’s home with adult supervision.
  • Talk to other parents to be sure they are not providing alcohol to your children.
  • Report underage drinking violations to local law enforcement.

 

Comments

  1. Does North Bend have similar laws? Or Fall City, or Issaquah? If not they should. Our kids go all over the region, this should be at the county level and the fine should be substantially more than $250….That’s a slap on the wrist. It’s should be $1000.00 – $5000.00

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