A joint effort of the Youth Council and city Public Safety Commission, the forum is a response to recent calls for the city to consider adopting a social host ordinance — a type of local measure that would penalize parents who allow teens to drink alcohol in their homes, supervised or not.
Public Safety Commission members chose not to recommend adoption of a citywide social host ordinance last year, as restrictions on loud parties and teen drinking already exist and taking those rules any further would violate Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department policy.
Under the department’s field operation directive for handling loud parties, deputies need consent, a search warrant or exigent circumstances to enter a home, said city Public Safety Coordinator Peter Castro. That means even if city officials passed an ordinance asking law enforcement to go around checking IDs at social gatherings, it couldn’t be enforced.
Social host ordinances in other cities rely on financial penalties for homeowners if deputies are called twice to the scene of a noise disturbance, but such a law is already on the books in La Cañada Flintridge.
“Our concern was having the right legal options to protect everybody, but at the same time making sure we’re not putting unenforceable laws on the books and that we balance people’s freedoms with public safety,” said Public Safety Commissioner Andy Beattie.
In lieu of punitive measures, Castro said City Hall decided instead on taking a preventive tack.
“This is really education for parents so they can have that conversation with their teenagers,” said Castro.
The forum will take begin at 7 p.m. April 27 at City Hall, 1327 Foothill Blvd. For more information, call (818) 790-8880.