New legislation strengthens the grip on alcohol regulations at high school and college parties

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In early 2014, the Supreme Court passed new legislation stating that any underage person who charges guests for entrance to their party will be liable if a guest is harmed.  This tightens the grip on alcohol and party regulation for high school and college students.  As underage citizens faced an increase of alcohol-related incidents over the years, the court has made the venue provider and host culpable for any kind of injuries.  This new implementation is beneficial to California because it helps reduce underage drinking and promotes public health.  The law also fixes a loophole that previously allowed hosts to potentially avoid liability by proclaiming they charged money for different reasons.  From a moral standpoint, the ruling eliminates the greed factor that fuels hosts when throwing a party.

Underage citizens will have less of a desire to throw a party if they fear major consequences at any possible accident.  While the law only appears to curtail a small portion of a large issue, it actually promotes a reduction of unsupervised underage social gatherings in which careless alcohol consumption can lead to serious consequences.

“I ended up in a hospital for alcohol poisoning one night after a party, and the end result of the bill was terribly high,” said sophomore Declan Graham.  “The host and provider of alcohol could not be found liable nor cover any of my bill, and it made me realize how dangerous underage drinking is.  This bill will help people like me stay away from alcohol or other substances.”

In addition to decreasing the number of parties thrown, the law addresses hosts who would previously have never been liable if they claim to charge for separate reasons.  Although most hosts use the profits from a party to cover alcohol costs, they allege to charge under different circumstances and insist that they had no knowledge of alcohol consumption and would have not previously been found liable.  But charging for parties indirectly serves as providing alcohol to minors, which is illegal regardless of the circumstance.  The new law helps to prevent those providing alcohol to minors get away with no trouble.

The new legislature also addresses the moral standpoint.  Fewer parties across Calif. will be charging for admission or for alcohol, decreasing the greed of the host to make a profit out of a social gathering.  Students find it burdensome to pay cash to enter a house party and hosts that are now faced with liability consequences will surely let in guests for free.  Underage party-goers are faced with two decisions: to either start sacrificing their own money and house to avoid being liable, or to give up throwing parties altogether.  Yet teenagers and college students are no doubt not ready to abandon their Friday and Saturday night ragers just yet.

Underage drinking has gotten out of control and many fail to consider the consequences that can arise out of such social situations.  Although pressures from outside sources might make it hard to lay down a clear line between liable and free of responsibility, the Supreme Court has been attempting to crack down harder on underage students without facing protest from major alcohol companies.

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