San Jose group pushes for social hosting ordinance

SAN JOSE, Calif.

There isn't a community out there that doesn't have its share of teenagers who throw house parties. Often times, their parents are away and suddenly out comes the alcohol.

"The number one place where teenagers drink alcohol is at house parties," said a speaker at the meeting.

That's why a community action group and some city leaders want San Jose to take a stand and pass a social hosting ordinance. It would fine parents whose children throw a party and serve alcohol in their house, even if the adults are out of town.

"If your dog bites your neighbor, you're liable for your dog biting your neighbor whether you're present or not. And it's the same thing with the teenagers in your home that you're responsible for," says Gabrielle Antolovich from Voices United.

The proposed ordinance comes after the recent alcohol related deaths of two San Jose teenagers.

"The junior girl from Santa Teresa who was killed in a drunk driving accident, the parents who had the house party should be held responsible," says Amy Heng, 17.

But many disagree, especially if the one throwing the party is over 18, but still under 21.

"I don't think it's fair. I think you should be responsible if you're 18. You're an adult, you know what you're doing," says Shelby Botula, 20.

"If he's going to be an adult and every other law out there says he's an adult in those laws, then why not this one too?" says parent Jackie Salazar.

This proposal still has quite a ways to go. On Wednesday the rules committee will get an update on it. Then that group will decide if the council will even discuss it. Backers of the proposal hope the council will take an actual vote on it as early as spring.

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