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Chico closer to adopting Social Host Ordinance

By Colin Steiner, csteiner@krcrtv.com
Published On: Mar 05 2014 02:24:53 AM CST
CHICO, Calif. -

The Chico City Council is a step closer to adopting an ordinance that would punish party hosts who allow underage drinking at their homes.

On Tuesday night, the council heard an introductory reading of what's being called the social host ordinance. They also heard from members of the public.

As proposed, the ordinance would fine anyone hosting a party with underage drinkers $500 for a first offense and $1000 for each subsequent offense in a given year.

The council voted unanimously to pass the reading.

The ordinance will come back for further review and commentary at the march 25, 2014 meeting. A vote isn't expected until after that.

Tuesday afternoon, students on the Chico State campus weren't so sure it would be effective if implemented.

"This is the city trying to change something, just throwing something out there," said freshman Hannah Clor. "I don't think they're actually going to accomplish anything unless they actually try and start some kind of a movement."

Senior Evan Robnett is a recent transfer from Sonoma State, where they have a similar ordinance. He said it'll be tough on many people who throw parties that simply get out of hand.

"It's really difficult here with Chico because I know that people will specifically listen to music and walk right on in not necessarily knowing the person that is hosting the party.

But Chico Police Chief Kirk Trostle said that's basically the point.

"To keep the parties small and secondly to prevent the alcohol related incidents that we have," Trostle said. "As well as kind of keep a check on our young kids and the abuse of alcohol that seems to be a chronic problem in our community."

But Robnett, when asked if he thinks it could change the party culture in Chico, replied, "Eh, no. It won't happen.

Freshman Clor echoed that sentiment.

"It would take something more than that."