Press Conference
Judy's Speech
re: "Social Host Ordinance"
        "On January 3rd, my daughter Lisa died in a crash after she had been drinking.

        Even if parents do everything right at home, it's too easy for their children to get alcohol at a friend's house. Her father has been in recovery for 23 years, so our children grew up in an alcohol-free home.

        Lisa was introduced to alcohol when she was a teenager; at someone else's house She was 14 years old. Even though I always knew where she was, I had no idea other parents were providing her alcohol. Whenever an underage youth obtains and drinks alcohol, an adult is involved. Parents and other adults need to be held accountable for giving alcohol to underage youth or allowing underage youth to drink in their home. There are too many negative consequences that can happen. And youth have no idea how to handle the effects of alcohol.

        I was first introduced to alcohol at 15 years old at a school play cast party thrown by one of the cast member's parents. They bought two kegs and served the beer to the students. I had no idea the effect alcohol would have on me. I got drunk along with everybody else. I could have been in a car crash on the way home. This was very irresponsible of these parents.

         Parents who host these parties are sending the wrong message to the youth. Because it is not ok for under age youth to drink and you don't need alcohol to have fun. Lisa was a straight "A" student with promise and potential until she was an introduced to alcohol."

(excerpts courtesy

(03-06-2003) - A San Diego City Council committee came out in support of an ordinance to punish adults who host parties where minors can imbibe.

The Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee voted 5-0 yesterday in favor of the "social host ordinance," which committee Chair Brian Maienschein said should close gaps in state and federal laws.

No laws prohibit adults from having parties where minors can drink, or prevent the minors from consuming alcohol in homes and other non-public places, he said.

The ordinance, which the full City Council must adopt before it goes into effect, would make those activities misdemeanors punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

"Usually, when police break up a party where minors are drinking, the person who hosts the party isn't even held responsible," Maienschein said. "This proposed ordinance holds that person accountable."

Christine Slattery, a senior at Montgomery High School, said the ordinance can help reduce youth access to alcohol.

"What parents need to know is they are not being cool by hosting underage house parties with alcohol," said Slattery, also member of a youth substance abuse advisory group. "They are being irresponsible."

The crime may occur behind closed doors, said Executive Assistant City Attorney Leslie Devaney, but it is still a crime.

"The hosts really are providing a forum for alcohol abuse by minors," Devaney said. "If you're providing the setting where alcohol is being consumed by minors, you will be busted."

Parents who are out of town and unaware of a party at their home wouldn't be affected by the ordinance.

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