Social Host Laws May Help Reduce Underage DUI

A new study finds that states that have social host laws which hold adults liable when they provide alcohol to underage drinkers could actually have a lowered incidence of teenage drinking or underage DUI.

The study was published recently in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, and found that the number of teenagers who reported consuming alcohol dropped, when they lived in towns where such laws were applied very strongly. The researchers claim that their findings prove that underage drinking is much less frequent among teenagers who live in cities where such social host liability laws not only exist, but are stringently enforced. These laws could be a deterrent to underage DUI, which is a serious problem affecting teens around the country.

Social host laws are effective in reducing underage DUI rates, because most cases of underage DUI do involve teenagers who manage to access alcohol at a party or social event. The study was conducted in California, and analyzed teen drinking behaviors in 50 communities. About half of the communities had social host laws which held hosts responsible for any DUI incident involving guests at the party. In many of these communities, the laws were stringently enforced, and included hefty penalties and fines.

In these communities, the researchers found that the rates of underage drinking were much lesser, than in those cities that did not have such laws, or where the laws were not so stringently enforced. Many communities do have social host laws, but they are not very heavily enforced, and not publicized.

Underage DUI can have serious penalties, including a blot on your criminal record, fines and even an suspension of your license. Speak to a Los Angeles DUI lawyer as soon as you are arrested for DUI.