Mequon cracks down on underage drinking parties
Mequon - This week, the Mequon Common Council approved a \"social hosting citation\", which will fine parents up to $2500 for hosting an underage drinking party. The new fine is nearly seven times higher than the existing fine of $376. Although, the citation has been raised to $2500, the actual amount of the fine would be decided by the judge in the Mid-Moraine Municipal Court. The ordinance was first unveiled in July, and it was unanimously approved by Mequon Common Council.
Mequon Police Chief Steven Graff told CBS 58 he drafted the ordinance in response to a series of underage drinking parties that were hosted by parents. The Police Chief stated a parent hosted a drinking party on January 3, 2014 with 65 kids. That incident resulted in 33 citations. The Chief also told CBS 58 on average, the police department issues an average of 200 underage drinking citations a year.
Parents would not be cited if they are not present and had no knowledge of the drinking party. However, a person could be considered a host if they are not present at the house, but knew about the underage drinking party.
Chief Graff told CBS 58 another reason for drafting the ordinance is that he saw other localities pass similar ones. Thiensville approved a social hosting ordinance in March, which carries a citation ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Social hosting ordinances are separate from current state law penalizing people who provide alcohol to anyone under the age of 21.