Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

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July 8, 2014

Adults should not be a party to underage drinking

On July 1, Indiana’s new social host law went into effect. It is illegal to provide alcohol to minors and now it is illegal to provide a place for them to drink it.

During the 2014 legislative session, the Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking worked with legislators to pass the social host law, which was part of Senate Bill 236

It is a Class B misdemeanor for adults knowingly and intentionally to provide a place for minors to drink. The offense becomes a Class A misdemeanor if the person has a prior unrelated conviction; and a Level 6 felony if the consumption, ingestion or use of the alcoholic beverage is the proximate cause of the serious bodily injury or death of any person, according to an ICRUD news release.

“This new law is a great tool for law enforcement to use in their efforts to disperse and disband underage drinking parties,” said Lisa Hutcheson, Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking director. “We hope that parents and other adults understand the criminal and civil liability of providing a place for minors to drink and will not become a party to underage drinking.”

Coalition leaders thank state Sens. Pete Miller (R-24), R. Michael Young (R-35) and Lonnie Randolph (D-2) and Reps. Matt Pierce (D-61), Greg Steuerwald (R-40) and Jud McMillin (R-68) for their work on and support of this law.

The Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking, a subsidiary of Mental Health America of Indiana, is an advocacy coalition, addressing the availability and accessibility of alcohol to minors through education and policy.

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