By: OC Supervisor Todd Spitzer
This week, the California Supreme Court ruled that party hosts who ask their guests to pay a cover charge to enter a gathering may be held legally responsible if an underage drinker then hurts himself or others. The ruling was unanimous, sending a clear message that underage drinking has led to many potentially dangerous and/or fatal situations. The court’s rationale was that a cover charge amounts to a sale of alcohol – and state law creates liability for the sale of alcohol to those that are underage.
Underage drinking and underage drinking and driving continue to be an epidemic here in Orange County. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, there were nearly 1,000 underage drinkers who were convicted of misdemeanor DUIs in Orange County in 2010. The California Highway Patrol has found that there were 150 people underage drinkers who caused serious bodily injury or death in a DUI collision in Orange County in 2010. Continue reading