Social Host Ordinances hold adults (social hosts) responsible for underage drinking events on property they own, lease or otherwise control.
Alcohol is the No. 1 Drug of Choice for Youth. It is involved in the deaths of more teenagers than all other illicit drugs combined, by a four-to-one ratio.
Many parents believe it is safer for their teenager and friends to drink at home as long as they take the keys away; however, this is a myth. Adults need to send a consistent message underage drinking is illegal and dangerous.
Social Host Ordinances may have civil and/or criminal penalties. The officer does not need to witness the adult handing alcohol to a minor to issue a citation. Social Host gives law enforcement a tool to control private parties where underage drinking occurs and serves as a significant deterrent to hosting the parties in the first place. Current state laws target who SUPPLIED the alcohol to minors, while Social Host refers to who provided the LOCATION where the underage drinking event occurred. Some ordinances have been written to address alcohol and other illicit substances.
There are numerous options available to communities to customize their ordinance to fit their local needs. The Alcohol PES is available by request to assist your community in this process. The Alcohol PES can also provide consultation to determine local need through data assessment and readiness for a Social Host Ordinance. Numerous tools are also available to communities not looking to pursue an ordinance at this time who still wish reduce alcohol social access to youth.
Learn More About Social Host
Alcohol PES Social Host 101 Fact Sheet (updated 2021-02)
Learn. Act. Impact. Save Lives. - Social Host 102 PowerPoint (updated 2018-08)
KY Social Host Ordinances, Updated February 2021 (30)
Looking Toward Change-- Numerous Kentucky communities have passed a Social Host Ordinance to hold adults responsible for underage drinking occurring in their home or on their property.
Click on a community below (if underlined/ available) to view a copy of the local Social Host Ordinance.
- Social Host Boone County Ordinance
- Social Host Boyle County Ordinance
- Social Host Breckinridge County Ordinance
- Social Host Butler County Ordinance
- Social Host Campbell County Ordinance
- Social Host Clark County- Winchester Ordinance
- Social Host Clinton County Ordinance
- Social Host Daviess County Ordinance
- Social Host Fayette County- Lexington Ordinance
- Social Host Glasgow Ordinance
- Social Host Hancock County Ordinance
- Social Host Harrodsburg Ordinance
- Social Host Jessamine County- Nicholasville (does not include City of Wilmore) Ordinance
- Social Host Junction City Ordinance
- Social Host Knott County Ordinance
- Social Host Marion County Ordinance
- Social Host McLean County Ordinance
- Social Host Meade County Ordinance
- Social Host McCreary County Ordinance
- Social Host Mercer County Ordinance
- Social Host Monroe County Ordinance
- Social Host Nelson County Ordinance
- Social Host Newport Ordinance
- Social Host Ohio County Ordinance
- Social Host Oldham County Ordinance
- Social Host Scott County Ordinance
- Social Host Shelby County Ordinance
- Social Host Trimble County Ordinance
- Social Host Washington County Ordinance
- Social Host Wayne County Ordinance
Social Host Laws, by State
- 31 states have a State Social Host Criminal Law prohibiting hosting an underage drinking party- see map below. Alcohol Policy Information System, 2019
- Of those 31 states, 10 states specifically address gatherings and parties on private property by underage youth. Babor et al., 2003; Alcohol Policy Information System, 2019
- 21 states have broader General Laws or statutes that address adults permitting underage drinking on their property. Center for the Study of Law and Enforcement Policy, 2005; Alcohol Policy Information System, 2019
- 150 communities in 21 states have passed social host ordinances. MADD, 2009; NIAAA, 2012
Why Educate Your Community About Social Host?
Adult-supervised drinking does not inhibit alcohol use or misuse.
Parents adopting a zero-tolerance standard can reduce harmful alcohol use among their youth.
SOCIAL HOST PREVENTION CAMPAIGNS:
- Parents Empowered - A media and education campaign designed to prevent and reduce underage drinking by providing parents and guardians with information about the harmful effects of alcohol on the developing teen brain, along with proven skills for preventing underage alcohol use.
- Be the Wall - The campaign encourages parents to stand up to their teenage children when it comes to underage drinking and "Be the Wall" between them and alcohol.
- Not in My House - A community prevention effort with the primary goal of reducing youth social access to alcohol by raising awareness about social host liability and related misperceptions surrounding underage drinking.
- Parents Who Host Lose the Most - The campaign includes cards, stickers, posters, yard signs, banners and more items to help you educate your community about the health and safety of underage drinking and share with them the facts that every parent should know about social hosting.
- SAMHSA's Talk They Hear You - A substance abuse prevention campaign to help parents and caregivers start talking to their children early about the dangers of alcohol and other drugs.