Shelbyville's 'social host' ordinance

Shelbyville's 'social host' ordinance

Shelbyville's 'social host' ordinance

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by Michelle Arnold

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 6, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 6 at 6:27 PM

SHELBYVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It's called the 'social host' ordinance and it fines adults for allowing minors to consume alcohol and drugs on their property.

“We felt like it was important to establish something giving them some responsibility to monitor things and make it more of a deterrent for parents to allow children to drink on their property,” Shelby Prevention Executive Director Elizabeth Pulliam, said.

Pulliam co-authored the ordinance and has pushed for it since the start of the year. She says support for the ordinance has been great.

“I feel that  responsible parents are the best offense and defense to be able to handle situations with your kids before you ever have to get any law enforcement involved,” Steve Ladden, a parent, said.

Kentucky Revised Statutes are less strict, punishing for provision of alcohol. This new law, passed on Tuesday night in Shelby County, punishes for provision of a place.

Many parents see drinking and driving as their cardinal concern, but the remaining serious risks-- such as consuming too much alcohol- were primary drivers for the inception of the ordinance.

“It’s not only alcohol poisoning but falls, sexual assault, injuries, things of that nature,” Pulliam, said.

“A lot of parents think “well they are going to do it anyway so let's just do it at our house and try to be keep it contained.” We know that that is not a very smart or safe way to deal with that issue,” Shelbyville Police Officer Kelly Cable, said.

And what if the parents aren't home? you still could be held responsible.

“Some issues we've had in the past where we've had underage drinking and people have used the excuse, “well I didn't know.”  Well that's not the case. As an adult you have to take those steps to prevent that from occurring,” Cable, said.

The law should go into effect in the next couple of weeks. First offenders can be charged with a "Class A" misdemeanor plus court costs and emergency responder costs if needed. 

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