To cut down on underage drinking, county officials will begin enforcement of a new ordinance next month that allows officers entry into residencies if they suspect minors are drinking on the premises.
The Social Host Liability Ordinance grants law enforcement the ability to issue citations to hosts knowingly permitting the consumption of alcohol by minors on their property. Although officers are scheduled to begin enforcing the ordinance Dec. 1, officials may postpone enforcement until administrative measures are ready.
The ordinance defines a “host” as any person either owning, renting or in control of the property, and a “party, gathering or event” as a social gathering of five or more persons, at least one of whom is a minor. Hosts violating the ordinance for the first time will be fined $500 and required to complete a mandatory educational class. Second-offenders are handed a $1,000 fine and subsequent offenses result in a $2,000 fine.
Fifth District Supervisor Joseph Centeno said the ordinance aims to hold residents and landlords accountable for what occurs in their homes.
“We were trying to also ensure that people who rented properties to youngsters and knowingly condoned the booze parties, that they were going to be held responsible,” Centeno said. “We also want to protect absentee owners who are not on their properties and knowledgeable of what is happening.”
Although critics of the ordinance have voiced concerns that police may use the ordinance as an excuse to enter a house, Centeno said officers will enforce the ordinance only as needed, like situations when law enforcement responds to noise complaints and other calls.
“I do not think the sheriff’s department will look for these things going on,” Centeno said. “When they respond to a complaint they will make the appropriate response [if they are in violation of the ordinance].”
Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr provided the single vote against the Social Host Ordinance, based on the implications the ordinance has on her district, which includes Isla Vista — where student residences may have numerous youth and adults age 17 to 24 or older living under one roof.
“Of course, it will be much more problematic in Isla Vista, where many household units do not have typical families and are groups of students, some who are underage and some who are not,” Farr said. “How are you going to correctly assess if someone is actually furnishing alcohol to a minor or is simply living in a residence with alcohol in it?”
In addition to enforcement concerns, Farr said she voted against the proposal because it lacked the administrative planning necessary for effective implementation.
“The other part was it did not come to the board’s agenda through the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services, it came from Supervisor Centeno on the request of members of the community,” Farr said. “It did not come with a full analysis of how this would be administered.”
County Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services has been charged with the ordinance’s administration. Interim Program Manager John Doyle said ADMHS will work alongside local officials on an education program prior to the start of enforcement. Additionally, Doyle said, the county has allocated additional time and resources for these efforts to be carried out in Isla Vista.
“It is a countywide ordinance, but it has the potential to affect Isla Vista the most, and we really need to protect the district who voted against, very strongly I might add, the Social Host Liability Ordinance,” Doyle said.
According to Doyle, outreach efforts have included the distribution of pamphlets and other informational outlets both on campus and throughout the county.
This law is ridiculous. Do they realize that most houses in Isla Vista have more than 5 residents? I have 5 roommates and two of them are underage. So if all of my roommates are home and I decide to have a glass of wine… the cops can enter my property and give me a $500 ticket? I know that is highly unlikely but it is completely within the law.
Completely with in the law, and the cops will use it to their full benefit. The whole thing was created and targeted twords isla vista and has little to no implications to the rest of the county. As long as they see 5 people they can assume that one is underage and at any point walk into a house. Most people in Isla Vista have 5-15 roomates, so family dinner has become a party.
When this was proposed in May 09, it was ostensibly targeted at adults who provided alcohol to teens while hosting house parties. Several of us who were at the BOS meeting opposed it on the grounds that it would essentially give the cops the “right” to enter almost any home in IV where anyone was drinking. It was voted down at the time. But all the douchbaggery surrounding Floatopia and other costly IV “events” over the last year and a half hasn’t made the BOS or the public very receptive to protecting the “rights” of people in IV. People in… Read more »
This law will not survive for very long. On it’s face it is violative of the Fourth Amendment, and if it is the sole law upon which an officer entry is based, it will be violative of the Fourth Amendment as applied to whichever unfortunate sole decides to bring suit. The law cannot do away with the requirement of a warrant supported by probable cause and specificity. Underage drinking is not exigent circumstances, and one could not possibly know that the sounds of a party are the sounds of underage people at a party. Therefore, as usual, some podunk town’s… Read more »
AMEN. As an attorney myself in Florida, I want to Second your advice and/or opinion. This is a case of do-gooder tyrants willing to trample the U.S. Constitution for their own purposes. Too bad I’m not a lawyer in California in that county for I would love to get a client arrested under this ordinance and sue the hell out of these do-gooder fools.
This entire problem could be solved if the drinking age was lowered to 19 making it less of a trill to do. Quebec is doing fine with its drinking age at 16 and the rest of Canada is at 19. It seems strange that people can buy adult toys/movies/games but cannot drink. I was introduced to drinking when i was 5 and because of that i don’t do the crazy stuff. The ones who get in the most trouble come from sheltered and paranoid parents. Let them drink and learn there lessons young, feel free to laugh at there suffering… Read more »
The drinking age in Quebec is 18, not 16. But even that 1 year difference makes it the province with the lowest incidence of binge drinking in young adults.
You can drink at any age in Quebec (or anywhere in Canada), it’s selling alcohol to minors that’s illegal (or for them to be in bars). If minors get alcohol, they are free to drink it.
Better yet, Sam, not to many people think twice about an 18 year old killing on command in a US sanctioned “Combat Zone”.
WHAT A SICK, ROTTING, PATHETIC COUNTRY!
How does this shit get passed and who comes up with it? I mean, seriously? Who honestly thinks it’s ok to let the police just barge in your house and start citing people without a warrant or permission? This country has a lot of growing up to do.
How does ANYONE not see that any power awarded to the police will be eventually abused by them.
Completely illegal law, totally violates the 4th amendment. Everyone on the council that voted for it should be removed from office and publicly shamed until they move to North Korea.
Repeal the ordinance in court? With the judicial activist conservative supreme court we have in place at this moment? Don’t hold your breath. Welcome to Amerika.
California Uber Alles!
“I personally welcome our new Nazi leaders…”
4th Amendment? What’s that?
Do any of these bonehead lawmakers even know the basic fundamentals of the Constitution they are sworn to uphold?
They just need to see a handful of people, and can walk in to any house under the assumption that an underage person is consuming alcohol. They can defend this under their biased logic in court if they are proved wrong.
Welcome to Santa Barbara, leave your Constitutional Rights at the door please.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Now, I am trying to figure out how the bloody heck the Santa Barbara piggies will not be in direct violation of this… or is the Constitution now, as Bush said during his presidency, just a god damned piece of paper. Ray Bradbury was right, we… Read more »
The Constitution has been in the garbage can for the last 100 years. Some people now are only starting to notice. Guess what? It’s too fucking late.
I Guess they need to do something with those 14 Billion alcoholic BEVERAGES Sold per year in that STATE…And the Costs because of its use Are HUGE,,,And I guess they DONATE MUCH to that $235 Billion a year ALCOHOL USE COSTS in AMERICA….So Instead of balming all the ills on SMOKERS and PASSIVE SMOKE i think its time ALCOHOL GETS Taxed 300 % Like SMOKING DOES…….Paying .45 cents a Gallon tax on Beer is a JOKE,when in Fact it is the Biggest Problem Maker ALL OVER AMERICA
A well-to-do student who is cited when an officer enters his house under this apparently “reasonable” exception to the 4th Amendment (Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures) of the United States Constitution will enjoy making Santa Barbara County millions into his trust fund. This law is ridiculous. If I’m reading this right, an officer can enter a home any time there are more than five people there and he suspects one is a minor? This law also seems to violate the 1st Amendment (Freedom of Association) as it will prevent consenting adults from gathering in groups of more than five… Read more »
For the reader’s (and apparently our representative’s) edification, below are some relevant excerpts from the United States and California Constitutions. As the Lawyer said, this law is prima facie in violation of our fundamental rights as citizens of this country. Perhaps Santa Barbara county should require that all individuals under the age of 21 wear an black armband with a red up-turned martini glass on it? UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION BILL OF RIGHTS First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;… Read more »
US constitution rocks. Sad that dumb flicks think they can make laws in contravention of it. First lawsuit on this will be the police seeking redress against a person who shoots a policeman who violated and unlawfully entered their private dwelling…on a hunch…and the Supreme Court unholds their right to be free in their property liberty and possessions. Unblvbl
Why is everyone quoting the US Constitution?
What about the CA Constitution?
taken from http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/.const/.article_1
ARTICLE 1 DECLARATION OF RIGHTS
SEC. 13. The right of the people to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable seizures and
searches may not be violated; and a warrant may not issue except on
probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly
describing the place to be searched and the persons and things to be
I have a question. If you are having a holiday party, and YOUR underage children are present, and you allow them alcohol under your supervision, are you breaking the ordinance? I was often allowed a small glass of wine at holiday meals at our house, or at my grandmother’s house, with my parents in attendance. My father and I used to share a beer in the summer after mowing four acres… Does this apply to one’s own children? And correct me if I’m wrong, but according to the CONSTITUTION, even if a complaint is received about noise or whatever, that… Read more »
This, apparently, would be grounds for police officers to forcibly enter your home, confiscate your alcohol, and cite you.
America is dead.
I here ya
They will twist this to all sorts of purposes. Though game wardens already have that capacity and have for a long time. These are scary times folks
This is a shame, John is right, America is dead. What ever happened to the 4th Amendment – The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
That includes Santa Barbara county…
This gives the people a way to fight back.
“A statute does not trump the Constitution.” People v. Ortiz, (1995) 32 Cal.App.4th 286.
The SB cops will only take my party away when they pry the double-fisted four loko’s from my cold, dead, drunk hands..
AMERICA is DEAD – stop accepting the Tyranny and get off your arses and do something – Protest, file a class action case when enough SB students get harassed under this ordinance.
Get Organized…if you can Organize a PARTY – YOU Can Organize against these forms of tyranny trampling your natural rights to put what ever you want into your body…(alcohol-wise) …don’t get freaky on me ;o)
Looks like the tree of liberty is a little parched, time to quench its thirst with the blood of a few tyrants….
I guess the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is dead…
I agree that your council just put their foot on the 4th amendment. Just keep drinking the water with the fluoridation as it will numb your senses and make you feel better about yourselves. Did you have a choice with the governator making you drink the fluoride in the tap water. Every council person that voted yes to the ordinance needs to be voted out ASAP. Additionally, it is sad you still have Nancy, Barbara, and Diane still working to represent you all at another level. Corruption corruption corruption but keep drinking the cool aid as it has tap water… Read more »
Why do these stories always come out of the most liberal/progressive states? Don’t see a story like this from Wyoming, Idaho, or Montana (for now)? It is always the most enlightened states that want to help you by crushing your constitutional rights. After all, the progressives think you are to stupid to take care of yourself and that whole constitution thing is a danger to your safety. Isn’t this how the National Socialist Party (Nazis) started? Let us come in to see where the Jews are living but trust us, that is all we want – to see where you… Read more »
Sounds like the officials need a refresher course in the Fourth Amendment.
The second amendment is supposed to ensure compliance with the fourth amendment.
More like a refresher course in the 2nd amendment,
Fa Fa FU** the police!
i guess the constitution is of no value these days. whatever happened to the 4th amendment?
We totally lost this battle in the SDSU college area. Huge fines being doled out left and right, basically all depending on what mood the cops who show up happen to be in. Some up to $7000 (for multiple residents), and sometimes because the videogames were too loud on a sunday afternoon. This is the beginning of the end if you all don’t stand up to it.
La mutuelle santé, complémentaire santé ou assurance santé a pour but de vous rembourser tout ou une partie de vos dépenses de santé qui ne sont pas couvertes par votre assurance maladie obligatoire.
Elle vous garantie le complément des remboursements de la sécurité sociale.
Elle n’est pas obligatoire, cette garantie volontaire est souscrite moyennant paiement d’une cotisation.
If I lived in that county, they would not be allowed into the house without arresting me first.
I’ve got some bad news for the county officials. The California and U.S. Constitutions TRUMP your little tyrannical unconstitutional ordinance.
good morning my oppressed american friends ,just in case anyone doesnt know how the “LAW” works ,i give you maxim xxx1 (31) – MAXIM rxxi. Domiis Sim quiqiie est tiitissimiim refugium : (5 Co. 91.) To every one, bis house is his surest refuge ; or, every man’s house is his castle. UNDER this maxim, a man’s house is a refuge for him against a Ji. fm.^ ca. sa., or distress warrant, as neitlier slieriff nor landlord can under such process justify hreaking into his house to take him or his goods. His house is not, however, a defense for… Read more »
Out-of-control cops, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our right:
They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
Impeach Obama and sweep out the Congress, except Ron Paul.
(Last link of Banned Book):
I would be real, real surprised if this unconstitutional law does not end up getting some cops hurt or killed.
Get the wrong house and the owner will rightfully assume illegal entry and defend and protect his self and family from those sent to serve and protect.
If I were a cop in SB I’d be very selective about whose place I entered without invitation.
Why are you all so worried about such law?
If you’re not violating it… then what’s the matter?
This ordinance is to ensure underage college students are not getting trashed at house parties in isla vista.
I don’t see police strolling the streets of santa barbara enforcing this…
It’s good that we keep underage kids from drinking at house parties, blacking out, getting raped/dui/dying.
Your home can be searched, without a warrant, by any police officer who believes you have five or more people, alcohol present, and one of them is a minor. How will this regulation apply to the large groups of students who live together in Isla Vista who are both over and under 21? Can one roommate be cited for “hosting” his other roommate, even if the minor isn’t drinking? I am disgusted by the Council’s blatent disregard for the constitutional protections afforded every citizen of California and the United States. Just because an elected body passes a law does not… Read more »
It’s like people who worry about the feds wiretapping your phone…
If you’re not doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about.
And rest assured the fine members of the law enforcement in SB will not be coming into my house.
Or yours for that matter…
Just be smart, not dumb.
If thats how you want it, move to 1960s Soviet Russia, fuckstick.
The “If you aren’t doing something wrong you have nothing to worry about” argument is a poor one. There is right and wrong, and those terms don’t apply exclusively to civilians. Whatever the positives are of this law don’t matter. Supposedly there are lines the government can’t cross, and this is one of them. Reasonable suspicion can’t be determined in the way this law is written. The vagueness of the legislation should rally general opposition, not against the idea of stopping underage drinking, but against the manner in which the law is executing enforcement.
I love this law and can’t wait for enforcement to begin. If you don’t want the Foot Patrol knocking at your door citing this law then just BE NEIGHBORLY and RESPONSIBLE. Drink with your friends QUIETLY, not with blasting music and screaming drunk friends no matter what the hour of day/night. Your neighbors won’t have any reason to call the Foot Patrol to visit your house if they don’t HEAR you.
Hooray!!! oh my gosh (that’s omg for your kiddies)… you mean If I don’t draw attention to myself.. I haev nothing to worry about?!!!!
Laughing out Loud (that’s LOL) Yippeeee
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I would venture to say that with that STATE Consuming over 14 Billon Alcoholic beverages per year: ABUSE IN CALIFORNIA: HIGHLIGHTS 1) The cost of alcohol abuse in California in 2001 totaled $17.8 billion for health service, substance abuse treatment/prevention, lost productivity from premature deaths, and justice system costs (See Appendix Table 11). 2) Nearly 84,000 hospital discharges resulted from alcohol abuse, including 11,388 discharges with alcohol dependence syndrome, 9,314 with alcoholic psychoses, and 8,115 with cirrhosis of the liver. Almost 16,000 Californians were hospitalized for injuries that resulted from alcohol use (Table 3 and page 3). 3) Hospitalization costs… Read more »
These deaths represented lost productivity of nearly $8 billion and over 358,000 life years (Tables 7,8 and page 6). 8) Criminal justice system costs attributed to alcohol were as high as $6.7 billion including $2.1 billion for police protection, $2.1 billion for judicial and legal services, and $2.4 billion for corrections (Table 9 and page 6). 9) In California’s justice system, 25% of total police arrests are for alcohol-specific offenses; approximately 43% of total arrests have been observed to be alcohol-involved (Table 10 and page 6). An estimated 36 percent of state prison and jail inmates were under the influence… Read more »
Alcohol and drug abuse costs the American economy an estimated $276 billion per year in lost productivity, health care expenditures, crime, motor vehicle crashes and other conditions.
Untreated addiction is more expensive than heart disease, diabetes and cancer combined.
Every American adult pays nearly $1,000 per year for the damages of addiction.
Everywhere we go nowadays, people are bombarded with advertisements to “Drink Responsibly”; yet, in spite of the warnings, people are still being maimed and injured by drunk drivers. Little children are still being killed. Who’s kidding who? What the lying beer companies and Big Alcohol will NEVER tell you is that NO AMOUNT of alcohol is safe while driving or at anytime………
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