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Pine County Board Moves Forward on Social Host Ordinance

The Pine County Board is taking steps to enact an ordinance that would hold owners accountable who knowingly allow underage drinking on their property.

At the February 5th county board meeting, Pine County Attorney Reese Frederickson gave a presentation that asked the commissioners to adopt a social host ordinance.

In order to create this ordinance, Frederickson partnered with the Pine County Chemical Health Coalition. Their goal is to deter property owners from allowing minors to gave and consume alcohol.

Lynette Forbes-Cardey, the grant coordinator for the coalition, told WCMP that a social host ordinance would help fill the gap between minors being able to legally consume alcohol under parental supervision and it being illegal to possess alcohol under the age of 21.

"There is not currently a law or ordinance in Pine County that makes it illegal for a person to knowingly allow underage drinking on their premises," said Forbes-Cardey. "Where a social host ordinance has been passed, law enforcement can write a citation to the homeowner, landowner or tenant."

The Pine County Board will have a public hearing surrounding the ordinance in April. If approved, Pine County will join 33 other counties in the state of Minnesota with similar ordinances.

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