RESOLUTION APPROVING AN SWIFT COUNTY SOCIAL HOST ORDINANCE

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PART I:

Commissioner Peterson offered the following resolution and moved its adoption:
RESOLUTION
APPROVING AN SWIFT COUNTY SOCIAL HOST ORDINANCE
SWIFT COUNTY

THIS ORDINANCE PROHIBITS, AND ESTABLISHES PENALTIES FOR, ANY PERSON HOSTING AN EVENT OR GATHERING WHERE ALCOHOL IS PRESENT AND BEING POSSESSED OR CONSUMED BY PERSONS UNDER TWENTY-ONE (21) YEARS OF AGE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE SWIFT COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, AS FOLLOWS:

Subdivision 1.  Purpose and Findings. It is the intent and desire of the Swift County Board of Commissioners to discourage underage possession and consumption of alcohol, even if done within the confines of a private residence, and intends to hold persons criminally responsible who host events or gatherings where persons under 21 years of age possess or consume alcohol regardless of whether the person hosting the event or gathering supplied the alcohol.
The Swift County Board of Commissioners finds that:

A. Events and gatherings held on private or public property where alcohol is possessed or consumed by persons under the age of twenty-one are harmful to those persons and constitute a potential threat to public health requiring prevention or abatement.
B. Prohibiting underage consumption acts to protect underage persons, as well as the general public, from injuries related to alcohol consumption, such as alcohol overdose or alcohol-related traffic collisions.
C. Alcohol is an addictive drug which, if used irresponsibly, could have drastic effects on those who use it as well as those who are affected by the actions of an irresponsible user.
D. Often, events or gatherings involving underage possession and consumption occur outside the presence of parents. However, there are times when the parent(s) is/are present and, condone the activity, and in some circumstances provide the alcohol.
E. Even though giving or furnishing alcohol to an underage person is a crime, it is difficult to prove, and an ordinance is necessary to help further combat underage consumption.
F.    A deterrent effect will be created by holding a person criminally responsible for hosting an event or gathering where underage possession or consumption occurs.

Subdivision 2.  Authority.  This ordinance is enacted pursuant to Minn. Stat. §145A.05 subdivision 1.

Subdivision 3.  Definitions. For purposes of this ordinance, the following terms have the following meanings:
A.    Alcohol. “Alcohol” means ethyl alcohol, hydrated oxide of ethyl, or spirits of wine, whiskey, rum, brandy, gin, or any other distilled spirits including dilutions and mixtures thereof from whatever source or by whatever process produced.
B.    Alcoholic beverage. “Alcoholic beverage” means alcohol, spirits, liquor, wine, beer, and every liquid or solid containing alcohol, spirits, liquor, wine, or beer, and which contains one-half of one percent or more of alcohol by volume and which is fit for beverage purposes either alone or when diluted, mixed, or combined with other substances.
C.    Event or gathering. “Event or gathering” means any group of three or more persons who have assembled or gathered together for a social occasion or other activity.
D.    Host. “Host” means to aid, conduct, allow, entertain, organize, supervise, control, or permit a gathering or event.
E.    Parent. “Parent” means any person having legal custody of a juvenile:
        (1) As natural, adoptive parent, or step-parent;
        (2) As a legal guardian; or
        (3) As a person to whom legal custody has been given by
             order of the court.
F.    Person. “Person” means any individual, partnership, co-partnership, corporation, or any association of one or more individuals.
G.    Residence or Premises. “Residence” or “premises” means any home, yard, farm, field, land, apartment, condominium, hotel or motel room, or other dwelling unit, or a hall or meeting room, park or any other place of assembly, public or private, whether occupied on a temporary or permanent basis, whether occupied as a dwelling or specifically for a party or other social function, and whether owned, leased, rented, or used with or without permission or compensation.
H.    Underage Person. “Underage person” is any individual under twenty-one (21) years of age.

 

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