Tulare County passes social host ordinance targeting underage drinking, pot smoking

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The social host ordinance is a new tool for the Tulare County Sheriff?s Office. (KFSN)

The Social Host Ordinance is a new tool for the Tulare County Sheriff's Office.

In addition to punishing those who provide alcohol or marijuana to minors, deputies can go after those who host parties where underage drinking or pot smoking is occurring.

John Ramos says he supports the ordinance, passed on Tuesday by Tulare County Supervisors.

"Take responsibility for your children and their actions," Ramos said. "It's not a bad thing; it's only a good thing."

"I think it's going to help," said Tulare County Assistant Sheriff Tom Sigley.

He says the ordinance will hold party hosts accountable.

Specifically, that's anyone who permits, allows, or hosts a party who knows underage drinking or marijuana consumption is happening.

The county's ordinance also applies to minors.

For instance, a teenager throwing a wild party while his or her parents are out of town can be held accountable.

Hosts can be ticketed or arrested.

"After the aggressive investigations we did with the human trafficking, the online predators, this is just another tool to help us as far as protect the kids and the community," Sigley said.

Visalia and many Valley cities already have social host rules in place.

This ordinance will become effective within weeks.
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