Social Hosting Panel Discussion Co-Hosted by Area Coalitions

April 15, 2014 9:45 a.m.

The new Social Host law makes adults liable for underage guests they knowingly allow to consume alcohol.

In recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month in April, I Sing the Body Electric, Central East Alcoholism and Drug Council and WEIU will co-host a panel discussion from 6 to 7 pm, Thursday, April 24, in EIU’s Charleston-Mattoon Room in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union entitled, “Our County, Our Health, Our Future,” on the local problems of underage drinking.

Teens from high schools in Coles County will assist with the panel discussion that is open to the public and comprised of community leaders representing substance abuse prevention, education, health care, law enforcement and parents as they discuss the myths and truths surrounding social hosting and underage alcohol consumption. It is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

According to the 2012 Illinois Youth Survey, 45 percent of Coles County high school seniors reported that they had been to, or hosted a party at which alcohol was served with parent knowledge or consent.

Social Hosting is defined as, “When a parent or guardian over the age of 21 serves, furnishes, or permits the possession or consumption of alcohol to a person under 21 on property for which the parent or guardian has responsibility.” With the new Social Host Law there is a $500 minimum fine and a maximum fine of $2,500 and up to one year in jail to knowingly allow underage drinking to occur at a private residence. If serious injury or death occurs, “hosts” are subject to a Class 4 felony or up to three years in prison and fines up to $25,000.

WEIU will tape the panel discussion and it will be hosted online at www.sarahbush.org/bodyelectric for future viewing.

For more information on the panel discussion, please contact Julie Meinhart, I Sing the Body Electric event coordinator, at 348-4570.

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