Letter | Drinking ordinance should be modified
March 27, 2012 · 1:31 PM
Recent news articles have caused me to question the effectiveness of the recent ordinance concerning underage drinking. While I share the Council's concern about the abuse of alcohol and drugs by juveniles, I believe that the current ordinance needs to be modified.
As I understand the situation of the party at the Greg James residence, Mr. James had given permission for his son to have seven or eight friends over. Mr. James had no knowledge of the escalation of the size of the gathering to approximately 75, nor was he aware that some of the — probably uninvited — guests would be introducing alcohol. I see no justification for holding him responsible for actions that he had no knowledge of and no control over.
The news article didn't mention, to my recollection, if the police took into custody the imbibing minors or if there was an investigation to determine how the involved minors came into possession of the alcohol. It would seem prudent, if the above action wasn't taken, for the City Council to ensure that in the future, if a similar incident occurs, that the imbibers, for their own well-being and the well-being of the public, be taken into custody until they can be released to a responsible adult, and that there be an investigation to determine the supplier of prohibited substances.
A recent article in a Rental Housing Application publication indicated that originally the plan was to hold owners of rental property responsible, also. Apparently, the Council agreed to amend that portion. I would suggest that residents, renters or owners should also be held harmless where they have not given permission and are unaware of the illegal activity.
Theodore F. Misselwitz