Ghastly Penalties Apply to Mummies Allowing Little Goblins to Consume Booooze

VISTA, Calif. (Oct. 31, 2014) — Don’t be a monster. Never give alcohol to minors. Ghastly penalties up to $1,000 or more, jail time and even bills for law enforcement services hold all mummies responsible for little goblins.

The County of San Diego and all 18 cities in the county have some version of a social host (or ‘house party’) law on the books to curb underage drinking at private residences. The Sheriff’s Department issued 173 social host citations between Jan. 2, 2008 and December 31, 2013, according to data compiled by the Center for Community Research, a San Diego nonprofit that provides research and evaluation services.

Over two thirds of the social host citations issued by the Sheriff’s Department occurred in North County Sheriff jurisdictions.

According to the Alcohol Policy Panel, a volunteer coalition that advises county officials on ways to prevent binge and underage drinking, many of those cited end up in court. An analysis of 30 citations issued in early 2012 found that about three-quarters of the cases ended up in court, and most of the defendants were convicted.

The North Coastal Prevention Coalition (NCPC) encourages parents to keep a watchful eye on young people toprevent underage drinking if they are hosting parties and avoid a frightful end to the Halloween night.

“Mummies, please limit drinks to non-alcoholic bubbling brews,” said Ray Pearson, NCPC president. “Alcohol-related problems are preventable and everyone’s responsibility. No safe setting exists for underage drinking.”

In fact, the Center for Community Research analyzed data provided by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department on 92 social host ordinance cases from 2011-2013 involving citations and arrests, and noted troubling facts.

Minors hosted more than half (55%) of the 92 parties, and two-thirds of the parties hosted by minors occurred when their parents were out of town. Half of the cases noted guests severely intoxicated, unable to care for themselves or requiring medical aid because of injury, assault or alcohol poisoning – and where deputies found severely intoxicated party guests, nearly all those who required medical attention were underage.

Party hosts of any age can be held responsible and cited, and present or not, parents may still be held accountable for cost recovery charges.

Pearson said he hopes the eye-opening data scares parents, adding: “Underage zombies need not drink alcohol to have a spooktacular time.”

About North Coastal Prevention Coalition (NCPC)

The North Coastal Prevention Coalition aims to reduce the harm of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drugs in the cities of Carlsbad, Oceanside and Vista through community action, education, support and collaboration. Funded in part by the County of San Diego, HHSA, Behavioral Health Services, with a contract to Vista Community Clinic. Visit

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Know What’s Scary? Halloween Parties with Underage Drinking
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