A social host law is a way to reduce underage drinking. A homeowner may be charged with a criminal offense if law enforcement deems they have furnished alcohol to youth under 21 years of age.
Furnish: “To supply, give or provide to, or allow a minor to possess on-premises or property owned or controlled by the person charged”.
Goal: To reduce youth access to alcohol; Most youth get their alcohol from another adult they know.
Social host laws communicate to its community, both youth and adults, that it is unacceptable for those under 21 to drink alcohol. Social host laws assist law enforcement in addressing underage drinking as a crime.
Sources of Alcohol (PAYS 2019)
Percent of youth in Montgomery County reporting their source of alcohol:
“Parents provided it to me” - 26.6% - up from 22.9% in 2017 (higher than the state average of 25.7%)
“Friends’ parents provided it to me” - 18.2% - up from 15.3% in 2017 (higher than the state average of 17.9%)
“Friends, brothers, or sisters over 21 provided it to me” - 28% - up .5% from 2017 (higher than the state average of 23.8%)
“Other relatives provided it to me” - 14.7% - up from 13.0% in 2017 (.5% higher than the state average)
According to the CDC, the earlier teens start using substances, the greater their chances of continuing to use substances and developing substance use problems later in life.