County Board adopts social host ordinance
The Goodhue County Chemical Health Initiative aimed to have comprehensive social host laws in place by 2011, and it achieved part of its goal Tuesday when commissioners passed an ordinance.
"The county can make this very easy for the rural areas by just taking a stand," Commissioner Dan Rechtzigel said when the idea was discussed in January. He reiterated those sentiments Tuesday in a unanimous vote.
The social host ordinance will hold hosts responsible for any underage drinking on their property, even if they weren't the ones to provide alcohol to the minors. Violation of the ordinance would be a misdemeanor.
But the ordinance applies only to rural areas in the county. Within city limits, it is each individual city's decision whether to pass an ordinance.
Red Wing and Kenyon have already adopted social host ordinances, and Goodhue will vote on its proposed ordinance next week.
In addition to those communities, CHI has local councils in Cannon Falls and Zumbrota. Wanamingo is part of the Kenyon council.
Education is the Chemical Health Initiative's main goal. Ordinances can be used as enforcement as well as education tools, members have said, that can be used to send a message and prevent underage drinking.
Also on Tuesday, the county commissioners amended the food and beverage ordinance to include a requirement that sellers and servers of alcohol take an online training course.