What is the Social Host Ordinance

The Social Host Ordinance is a tool to combat underage drinking at house parties and other teen social gatherings. It holds adults civilly liable for providing alcohol to minors and/or has the responsibility for social setting where underage drinking occurs.

The purpose of the Social Host Ordinance is to bring awareness to the issue of underage drinking in the city of San Antonio. In Texas, alcohol is the most abused substance by youth and social hosting is the number one way underage youth attain alcohol. The ordinance holds a homeowner or private property owner responsible when they supply minors with the environment to drink alcohol. By imposing fines on homeowners and/or property owners with each successive offense, the goal is to discourage underage drinking at house parties.

Social Host Proposal Presented

Councilman Rey Saldaña and Police Chief William McManus championed and presented the Social Host proposal to City leaders in August of 2016.

Helps Law Enforcement Officers

The Social Host Ordinance will help law enforcement officers in their efforts to prevent underage drinking and social hosting by holding parents and others adults accountable who allow anyone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol.

Social Host Ordinance Passes

The Social Host Ordinance that was presented by Councilman Rey Saldana and Police Chief William McManus was passed by City Council in December of 2016 and took effect in March 2017.

Every statistic on underage drinking tells one thing—there is nothing minor about minors in possession.

11 Years Old

The average age of first alcohol use in Bexar County is 11 years old.

41% of High School Students

describe accessing alcohol through friends and parties is "very easy."

4.5 Times More Likely

Kids who begin using alcohol before age 15 are 4.5 times more likely to suffer from substance abuse as adults than those who wait until they're 21.

75% of Youth Offenders

identified "house parties" as the place most of their peers drink illegally.

1 in 7 Teens Binge Drinks

Yet only 1 in 100 parents believe his or her teen binge drinks.

4 Times More Likely

Kids who start drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to become alcoholics.

The Social Host Ordinance will:

  • ensure a civil citation for anyone providing or allowing the environment of underage drinking on their property or rental premises.
  • hold the person responsible who allows underage drinking to occur.
  • change in focus from underage drinker to adult provider.
  • takes a stand to say it is not acceptable to host underage drinking parties.
  • imposes an affirmative duty on home owners to prevent parties from occurring.
  • limit social access, size and frequency of parties.
  • ensure that our youth strive to succeed rather than strive to survive their teenage years.
  • Underage drinking threatens public health, public safety, and general welfare.
  • This ordinance will help prevent underage drinking, which has been reported to result in sexual assault, fighting, driving under the influence, and alcohol poisoning.
  • Communities across the nation have passed social host ordinances and have been successful in limiting social access and the size and frequency of parties.
  • Due to the high chance of citations and fines that increase with each offense, the ordinance has a strong probability of being successful.
  • The Social Host Ordinance will ensure a civil citation for anyone providing or allowing the environment of underage drinking on their property or rental premises.
  • State law requires that only parents, guardians, and/or the spouse are allowed to give a minor alcohol. Introducing alcohol to their children should be the responsibility of the parent, however, underage drinking usually occurs during house parties where an adult either supplies the alcohol or the location. No parent should have to worry if their child is being supplied alcohol by another adult.

Start conversations about your values and expectations while your child is young. Your child will get used to sharing information and opinions with you. This will make it easier for you to continue talking as your child gets older.

  • Plan ahead.
  • Be honest.
  • Make it a conversation.
  • Talk about the risks.
  • Destroy myths.
  • Talk about peer pressure.
  • Encourage your teen to be open.
  • Be calm.
  • Do tell your teen how you feel.
  • Be clear about expectations.

Watch the PSA

Frequently Asked Questions

1

When did the Social Host Ordinance begin?

The Social Host Ordinance took effect on March 1st. There will be a 90 day grace period that will consist of warnings.

2

When will citations and fines be given out?

Citations will begin on June 1st.

3

How much will I be fined?

The first citation is $300. The second citation is $500. Any subsequent violations will be citations with an additional cost-recovery component for the city dispatching emergency services.

4

Why aren't these consequences more extreme?

Citations for Minor in Possession, Minor in Consumption, and/or Furnishing Alcohol to Minors will still be issued along with the Social Host Civil Citation.

Get In Touch

If you are interested in volunteering or learning more about the Social Host Ordinance and #nopartyparents please contact us today!
  • 7500 Highway 90
    Dave Coy Building, Suite 201
    San Antonio, TX 78227
  • 210-225-4741
  • ttalavera@sacada.org

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