Concerns about underage drinking were thrust into the spotlight again Monday as parents urged the La Cañada Flintridge City Council to implement a social-host ordinance, while public officials said their hands are tied when it comes to enforcement.
A social-host ordinance is designed to curb underage drinking by holding homeowners and adults responsible for furnishing alcohol to minors. The terms of social-host ordinances vary from city to city, but most include stiff fees for successive law-enforcement visits after an initial call-out. The city of Fontana's ordinance also has a "Scarlet Letter" component — if a homeowner is cited for a loud party, the city posts a sign near the home for 90 days identifying it as a location of a social-host violation.
The implementation and potential effectiveness of a social-host ordinance has been debated in La Cañada for months, including at Public Safety Commission meetings on April 25 and June 28. On Monday, community members, including parents and members of the La Cañada Unified School Board, reiterated their concerns about underage drinking, as well as their disgust with adults who permit such behavior in their homes.