Social host law targets underage drinking in Orange Co.

A new law to crack down on parties with underage drinking will soon take effect in Orange County.



District Attorney Dave Hoovler says the county's new "social host law" sets clear guidelines to hold parents responsible, whether they are home or not, for anything that happens during underage parties.



"It's about education, prevention and awareness," Hoovler says. "That's what we are trying to do."



Legislators unanimously passed the law, and say underage drinking in Orange is a serious problem.



The law comes in the wake of the Justin Speights case, in which the 20-year-old volunteer firefighter was killed at a party where underage drinking took place. Authorities say the homeowner's children held the drug and alcohol-fueled party, but their parents weren't there.



The new law carries fines up to a $1,000 and jail time for a second offense.



Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus is expected to sign the law in the coming weeks.


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