Resolution on Social Host Accountability for Underage Drinking

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Notes from the Backpack Podcast

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Whereas, Research identifies "social hosts", adults who furnish alcohol to minors under the age of 21 who are not their children and/or knowingly allow underage drinking parties in private settings, as the primary source and private homes the primary site of alcohol availability, drinking games and binge drinking for our youth; and

Whereas, Alcohol is the most abused substance for youth ages 12-20 and underage drinking is directly involved in the deaths of approximately 5,000 youth every year nationwide, increases the risk of detrimental effects on the developing brain, is linked to two-thirds of all sexual assaults including date rape, and contributes to a 10 times higher incidence of physical assault and a 12 times higher incidence of unintentional injury; and

Whereas, Social and cultural environments that surround adolescents, including their families, schools, peers and communities, play a significant role in the use of alcohol by underage drinkers, and social hosts promote an environment in which underage drinking is accepted and encouraged despite the serious threat it poses to the health and safety of our youth and our communities; and

Whereas, Where they exist, social host laws may act as a deterrent through the assessment of fines, community service, and/or jail time for those who practice social hosting and provide law enforcement with the ability to intervene at parties where underage drinking occurs most: in homes and on private property; now therefore be it

Resolved, That PTA and its constituent organizations provide information to students, parents, and community members regarding the detrimental effects and significant dangers of underage drinking and social hosting; and be it further

Resolved, That PTA and its constituent organizations encourage and support legislation to adopt social host laws that would prohibit adults from providing alcohol or allowing the consumption of alcohol in homes or on noncommercial property by youth under the age of 21 who are not their children.