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Posted on: May 6, 2019

Orange County reminds parents during prom season that serving alcohol to minors is illegal

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Goshen, N.Y. – With prom season underway, Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus, Sheriff Carl E. DuBois and District Attorney David M. Hoovler are reminding residents to be aware of the County’s Social Host Law and that there are consequences for breaking the law.

“This is especially relevant as the season for proms and graduations is upon us,” Neuhaus said. “This is a time for celebration, not recklessness. Parents should be aware that they can face serious consequences by allowing underage drinking at their home. We will not tolerate behavior that endangers the residents of Orange County.”

Neuhaus signed legislation in March of 2016 to enact a Social Host Law, which is aimed at deterring the consumption of alcoholic beverages by minors by holding anyone 18 years of age or older responsible when they permit the consumption of alcoholic beverages by minors on premises. Under the Social Host Law, it is illegal for homeowners or any host 18 years or older to knowingly allow underage drinking at their home or a party, or to not take action to stop underage drinking after they are made aware of it.

 “As parents, we owe it to our children to keep them out of harm’s way and, for that reason, my office takes enforcement of the Social Host Law very seriously,” Hoovler said. “Each spring, many children participate in graduations, proms, and school formals. These events should be celebrations for children and their friends and families. Unfortunately, these same events can be marred by tragedy when someone underage consumes alcohol resulting in motor vehicle crashes and other incidents. Orange County’s Social Host Law is designed to keep children safe from underage drinking and its potential dangers.”

The County has teamed with the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Council (ADAC) of Orange County to raise awareness about the dangers of underage drinking. ADAC provides residents with programs and services to address substance abuse and addiction as a health condition which affects the individual, family and the community. The non-profit organization provides information, referral and outreach services, as well as operating a School of Addiction Studies that provides credentialing in substance abuse for all human service professionals.

ADAC-Orange County initiatives include Parents Who Host Lose the Most Workshops, which educates communities by developing assemblies and prevention activities at Orange County high schools, youth and adult alcohol awareness programs and educational videos.

“Those of us in law enforcement are always concerned for the safety of students during prom and graduation season,” DuBois said. “Parents throughout Orange County share those concerns. We need to work together to keep our children safe by reminding them of the dangers of distracted driving, speeding and drinking and driving. This law helps us do that.”

For more information, contact Justin Rodriguez, Assistant to the County Executive for Communications and Media Relations at 845.291.3255 or [email protected].

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