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Posted on: May 13, 2022

Social Host Ordinance - Useful Information

The goal of the Social Host Ordinance is to educate and provide resources to the community about ways to deter underage drinking and to provide awareness that there are consequences for allowing such gatherings to occur.

What is a Social Host Ordinance?

A Social Host Ordinance holds accountable the host of a gathering where underage drinking or drug use is allowed to occur. Anyone 18 years of age or older who hosts such gatherings may be subject to the ordinance and/or a fine. If the host of such gathering is 17 years old or younger, the parents of that minor may be held jointly responsible with their teen and subject to a fine, even if they were not present or aware of the gathering.

Why Are Social Host Ordinances Necessary?

A social host ordinance reinforces the message that allowing underage drinking will not be tolerated in Los Gatos as it may cause dangerous and illegal situations involving minors.

In addition, a social host ordinance empowers parents, students, neighbors and concerned residents to seek help from law enforcement when there are youth suspected of underage drinking and/or illegal drug use on public or private property. The ordinance also provides law enforcement with a formal course of action to respond to calls associated with underage drinking.

Cost Recovery Fees for Underage Social Gatherings

Fees may be imposed on the host of a social host where underage drinking and/or drug use is allowed to occur. Fees may include the cost of providing public safety services such as police, fire, ambulance and other emergency services. Warning, education and/or fine may occur for first violation within a 12 month period. 
First Violation: $1,500 
Second Violation: $3,000 
Third or Subsequent Violation: $3,000

For more information visit www.losgatosca.gov/287/Youth-Commission or email Jrose@losgatosca.gov.

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