Mountain Express: Proposed Punishment for 'Hosts' of Underage Drinking


Nearly one year ago, on New Year's Eve, there was a party in the home of a trustee of the Blaine County School Board. But it turns out that there was some underage drinking at the event. The incident triggered the resignation of the trustee and a robust conversation about underage drinking.

The unhealthy mix of teens and alcohol is nothing new and knows no boundaries. This past May, the Boise County Sheriff's Office and Boise National Forest officials broke up a kegger off of Bogus Basin road, landing more than 100 Boise teens in hot water.

And now, this morning's Idaho Mountain Express is reporting that Blaine County commissioners are considering a proposed "social host" ordinance that would slap party hosts with criminal charges, whether those hosts bought the alcohol or not. 

According to 2014 research from the Idaho Prevention Survey, 25 percent of 10th graders and 43 percent of 12th graders in Blaine County had reported binge drinking in the previous 30 days. Additionally, 86 percent of 12th graders said it was somewhat or very easy to obtain alcohol.

The Mountain Express reports that the proposed ordinance would include a fine of up to $100 for a first violation, and jail time and $1,000 fines for second and subsequent violations. The proposed ordinance is expected to be formally considered at a January meeting of the Blaine County Commision.