La Crosse, Wisconsin (WXOW) --- A crackdown on alcohol use among minors in La Crosse is one step closer to becoming law. The ordinance targets not the minors but the adults who allow it to happen...
Its called the Social Host Ordinance and La Crosse is on the verge of joining about two dozen communities in the state including Onalaska to adopt it. The Committee of the Whole gave its okay and it now goes to the full council. The measure makes adults who host or allow underage drinking parties to happen on their property subject to fines of up to five thousand dollars. The law does not apply to parents who allow their own children to drink.
Law enforcement say they issue between 50 - 100 citations to parents in La Crosse County every year for hosting underage drinking parties. La Crosse is very familiar with the dangers of alcohol abuse. Over the past 13 years la crosse has seen nine alcohol related river drowning's. The La Crosse Police Chief says this ordinance represents a big step.
"We see parents who want to be friends to their kids instead of being parents. Say they want to have a graduation party and rent them a hotel room and let them drink there. Well this is hopefully gonna put an end to that. Hopefully it will make for a lot safer community," said Chief Ron Tischer of the La Crosse Police Department.
Former La Crosse Police Chief, Ed Kondraki spoke at the meeting and has led the fight for the ordinance.
"We've got a good number of community based organizations and the colleges and public and private sector all coming together to do something positive. It's that kind of synergy where one plus one equals four or five that you get things done."
The council is using a new computerized system to tally votes. They unveiled their new monitors at tonight's meetings. The new electronic system makes it easier for those in attendance to follow council proceedings.
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