City Council supports effort to prevent underage drinking in Gonzales

Approved new law proposed by youth council

GONZALES, Calif. - The Gonzales City Council has approved a law to help prevent underage drinking at house parties.

The Gonzales Youth Council brought the Social Host Ordinance to the council. City leaders then voted to approve the law Monday night.

What it does is fine parents who have parties and allow their kids or other minors to drink.

The youth council worked on the ordinance for more than a year. They created it to deter underage drinking at house parties and encourage adults and future leaders to party responsibly.

"The legal basis of this has already been established, and minors can't drink but unfortunately here in Gonzales a lot of them do," said youth advisor Fabiola Moreno.

Experts say underage drinking is a problem local governments should take seriously.

Darlene Acosta with Sun Street Centers says adults allowing kids to drink at home can be dangerous.

"Even those [parents] that want to monitor their kids as they drink feeling that they're going to drink anyways," Acosta said, "You don't know that, a parent does not know the circumstance they're in."

The purpose for these teens isn't to punish parents, it's to prevent more deaths from underage drinking.

"We know that there's nobody that loves the children more than the parents, this is not meant to harm anyone," Youth commissioner Cindy Aguilar said, "It's meant to protect the lives of their children."

The new rules go into effect in 30 days. The youth council now plans to spread the word and educate people about the ordinance.


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