[HISTORY: Adopted by Dutchess County as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Unlawful purchase of alcoholic beverages by minors — See Alcoholic Beverage Control Law § 65-b.
[Adopted 5-12-2008 by L.L. No. 2-2008]
The Dutchess County Legislature finds that underage drinking is a significant societal problem that has generated widespread concern in Dutchess County. Although the New York State Legislature has acted to proscribe the unlawful giving, selling, and possessing of alcohol in relation to minors, it has not regulated the situation where a person over the age of 18 knowingly permits the consumption of alcohol by a minor or in his or her home. The underage consumption of alcohol, whether at a party or a smaller gathering, poses an immediate threat to the public health, safety, and welfare to the residents of Dutchess County, often leading to alcohol 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. This article will serve to deter the consumption of alcoholic beverages by minors by holding those over the age of 18 responsible when they permit the consumption of alcoholic beverages by minors at their residences.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- 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 kind of 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 confectionery 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 meaning of this section.
- A building which is usually occupied, in whole or in part, as a home, residence or sleeping place of one or more human beings and is either owned, rented, leased, let or hired out to be occupied, or is occupied, as a residence or home of one or more human beings.
- 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, including yards and open areas adjacent thereto, owned, rented or controlled by the lessee or owner.
It shall be unlawful for any person over the age of 18, who owns, rents, or otherwise controls a "residence" or "dwelling," as defined in § 128-2 herein, to knowingly allow the consumption of alcohol or alcoholic beverages 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;
The use and consumption of alcohol or alcoholic beverages by a minor for religious purposes; or
The parent or guardian of such a person or to a person who gives, or causes to be given, any such alcoholic beverage to a person under the age of 21 years who is a student in a curriculum licensed or registered by the State Education Department, where the tasting or imbibing of alcoholic beverages is required in courses that are part of the required curriculum, provided such alcoholic beverages are given only for instructional purposes during classes conducted pursuant to such curriculum.
A violation of § 128-3 of this article shall be punishable as follows:
First offense. Any person who violates § 128-3 of this article shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine not to exceed $250, where such violation constitutes the person's first offense.
Second offense. Any person who violates § 128-3 of this article shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine of not less than $500, where such violation constitutes the person's second offense.
Third and subsequent offenses. Any person who violates § 128-3 of this article shall be guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 and a term of imprisonment not to exceed one year, or both, where such violation constitutes the person's third or subsequent offense.
The provisions of § 128-3 of this article 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 Child, and § 260.20(2), Unlawfully Dealing with a Child.