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Underage Drinking in Pacific Grove

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Posted: Friday, May 16th, 2014

As Graduation Ceremonies are on the horizon in Pacific Grove this normal rite of passage often includes celebrating with a party or two.  It is important to know that there are “Social Hosting” restrictions in place.  What does this mean?  Simply put it means that adults are responsible for events held within their homes and this responsibility includes the prohibition of serving alcoholic beverages to minors (under age of 21).  This is nothing new as this is a State of California law. Several terrible accidents involving minors have resulted from alcohol. Within the city of Pacific Grove this has been expanded to penalize adults who support and allow under age drinking on their premises.  These penalties include the concept of “Cost Recovery” which means that the responsible adult can be required to pay the costs for Police and Emergency services needed to control a party and ensure all partygoers return safely to home.  It may seem strange that the Police just do not break up an unruly party or one involving under age drinkers.  They are faced with the additional responsibility to protect these partygoers by having a responsible adult get them home.  This takes a lot of valuable time away from our Police Department, time that could be used for other missions.  So the costs associated with this can be passed on to the responsible adults.  Added on to these costs may be lawyers’ fees.  The bottom line is that adults need to accept responsibility for their children by eliminating under age drinking at any events on their premises.  Celebrations can and should take place for our graduating seniors however adults need to review the consequences for serving alcohol to minors.  For more detailed information go on line to the Pacific Grove website, check the  Charter and Ordinances, chapter 11.04 Alcoholic Beverages, 11.04.040 Persons Under 21 Prohibition and 11.04.050 Cost Recovery  Celebrate Responsibly!!

submitted by Ken Cuneo