[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Legislature of the County of Sullivan 12-20-2012 by L.L. No. 4-2012. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Drugs and drug products — See Ch. 99.
This chapter shall be known as the "Social Host Law."
This legislature finds that underage drinking and drug use is a significant societal problem that has generated widespread concern in Sullivan County. Although the New York State Legislature has acted to proscribe the unlawful giving, selling and possessing of alcohol or drugs in relation to minors, it has not regulated the situation where a person 18 years of age or older knowingly permits the consumption of alcohol or drugs by a minor in his or her home or premises controlled by him. The underage consumption of alcohol or drugs, whether at a party or a smaller gathering, poses an immediate threat to the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of Sullivan County, often leading to alcohol and drug abuse by minors, physical altercations, accidental injuries, neighborhood vandalism, excessive noise disturbances requiring the intervention of local law enforcement and the commission of violent crimes, including sexual offenses and serious assaults. A recent survey conducted by the Recovery Center determined that the average age of a child first using alcohol in Sullivan County is 13.2 years. In addition, the survey found that Sullivan County was above the seven state norm in parental attitudes favorable towards alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, a significant risk factor, in grades 10 and 11 and at the seven state norm for grades nine and 12; and that Sullivan County youth are predominantly drinking at their home (30%) or someone else's home (32%). A Prevention First NY and Sullivan County Care Corps survey from June 2011 to January 2012 found that 93.7% of adult respondents in Sullivan County, ages 18 to 83, supported a social host law. This chapter will serve to deter the consumption of alcoholic beverages or drugs by minors by holding those 18 years of age or older responsible and accountable when they permit the consumption of alcoholic beverages or drugs by minors at premises under their control.
For purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall be defined as follows:
- Ethyl alcohol, hydrated oxide of ethyl or spirits of wine, from whatever source or by whatever means produced.
- ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE
- Any liquor, wine, beer, spirits, cider or other liquid, or solid, patented or not, composed of, or containing, alcohol or spirits, whether or not brewed, fermented or distilled, and capable of being consumed by a person, except that confectionary containing alcohol as provided by Subdivision 12 of § 200 of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law shall not be regarded as an alcoholic beverage within the meaning of this section.
- The ability to exercise direction over; the authority to regulate, direct or dominate.
- Includes any substance listed in § 3306 of the Public Health Law.
- Aware of, or having reason to be aware of, the consumption of alcohol by a minor.
- Any person under the age of 21.
- Any home, apartment, condominium, cooperative unit or other dwelling unit of any kind and public and private property, including yards and open areas adjacent thereto.
It shall be unlawful for any person 18 years of age or older who owns, rents, or otherwise controls premises, to knowingly allow the consumption of alcohol or alcoholic beverages or drugs by any minor on such premises.
The provisions of Subsection A of this section shall not apply to:
The consumption of alcohol or alcoholic beverages by a minor whose parent or guardian is present and has expressly permitted such consumption; or
The use and consumption of alcohol or alcoholic beverages by a minor for religious purposes; or
The possession or consumption of a drug for which the individual has a current, valid prescription or it is otherwise permitted by any other applicable law.
A violation of § 170-4 of this chapter shall be punished as follows:
First offense. Failure to comply with § 170-4 of this chapter, for the first time, shall constitute a violation and be punishable by a fine of $500. The court shall also order the completion of an alcohol awareness program and/or an appropriate amount of community service not to exceed 30 hours.
Second offense. Failure to comply with § 170-4 of this chapter by a person who has previously been found guilty of failing to comply with this chapter, shall constitute an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by either a fine of $1,000, and a term of imprisonment not to exceed one year in the Sullivan County Jail, or both such fine and imprisonment.
The provisions of § 170-4 of this chapter shall not in any way affect the application of any other law, where appropriate, including but not limited to New York Penal Law § 260.10 (endangering the welfare of a minor) and § 260.20(2) (unlawfully dealing with a child).
This chapter shall be null and void on the day that statewide or federal legislation goes into effect, incorporating either the same or substantially similar provisions as are contained in this chapter, or in the event that a pertinent state or federal administrative agency issues and promulgates regulations preempting such action by the County of Sullivan. The Sullivan County Legislature may determine via resolution whether or not identical or substantially similar statewide legislation has been enacted for the purposes of triggering the provisions of this section.