By Melanie Dill |

“During the past year, how did you get alcohol?” 73% of youth reported getting alcohol from the following sources: parents, friends over 21, parties, friend’s house, and brother or sister (Iowa Youth Survey of Delaware County,  11th graders, 2010). Today, if you provide alcohol to a minor, if you allow minors to drink on your property, or know that underage youth are drinking on any property you own- you will get fined $500.

Why? Because the new Social Host County Ordinance #37 was passed April 1. It states, “Persons under the legal drinking age often attend gatherings where controlled substances and/or alcoholic beverages are brought or made available, and  the persons who are in control of such premises either have reason to know or are knowingly tolerating, allowing or permitting such drug and alcohol use to occur. This ordinance will establish penalties for persons who know or have reason to know or permit or allow underage drinking or drug use, and will encourage those persons to ensure that those activities are not occurring on premises under their control.”

This ordinance was passed to help protect our youth from the dangers and consequences of drinking underage. But this is only one approach. Parents are another major influence. Eighty percent of youth report parents influence them the most when it comes to making decisions regarding alcohol use. (Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration Survey, 2011)

Delaware County Drug Abuse Coalition (DDAC) is sponsoring an informal discussion on Tuesday, April 23, 6:30 p.m.,  at the West Delaware High School Commons to engage parents, educators, businesses, community organizations and others in creating a safe and healthy environment for our youth. Together we’ll discuss and better understand the legal ramifications of allowing underage drinking to occur. Community resources will be available along with light refreshments. Come when you can, as you are welcome to join us for all or part of this event. Contact Melanie with any questions, 563-582-5317.

Our youth deserve to live and grow to adulthood in an environment where alcohol is not misused. Let’s unite together in supporting this ordinance which will help build a substance-free environment and help parents and the community in their responsibility to keep our Delaware County youth safe and healthy.

Social-Host-Forum Delaware County

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