Proposed Blaine County Ordinance Punishes Parents For Underage Drinking Parties

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Acknowledging that resort towns proportionately have higher alcohol and drug problems than other communities, a proposed ordinance to make adults more accountable for teen drinking is gaining traction in the Wood River Valley.

"The things that we love about this community and the reason most of us live here also present some challenges," Blaine County parent Michael David, who heads a local drug coalition, told the Idaho Mountain Express

David is executive director of the Community Drug Coalition, which, in a recent study, revealed that 88 percent of Blaine County high-schoolers went to parties hosted by adults where alcohol was made available to teens. In fact, it was one year ago this week that there was a party at the home of a trustee of the Blaine County School Board and there was underage drinking at the event. The incident triggered the resignation of the trustee and a community-wide conversation about underage drinking.

This week's Idaho Mountain Express reports that a proposed "social hosting" ordinance, which would slap party hosts with criminal charges, received unanimous approval by the Blaine County School District at its Dec. 17 meeting but the ultimate say will need to come from the Blaine County Commission, which is mulling the ordinance.

“Frankly, I’d rather give a ticket to that adult than potentially negatively influence a kid’s future to get student loans, to get a job, because they made a not good decision that a vast majority make,” David told the Mountain Express