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The facts behind Nassau's Social Host Law

Nassau County's Social Host law

Nassau's social host was signed into law by County Executive Thomas Suozzi on July 17, 2007.

It was meant to deter minors - anyone under 21 - from drinking at private homes, particularly at house parties, by making adults over 18 responsible for drinking at premises they own, rent "or otherwise control."

It applies to private homes, apartments or "other dwelling unit of any kind, including yards and open areas adjacent thereto."

The adults will be held responsible if it can be shown they knew of the drinking and failed to take action, such as telling the drinker to stop or leave the premises, or by calling police, or by referring it to another adult "having a greater degree of authority over the conduct of such minor."

Violators are subject to misdemeanor penalties of a fine up $250 for a first offense, $500 for a second offense, and a fine up to $1,000 and a year in jail for a third offense.

The law does not apply to the consumption of alcohol by a minor whose parent or guardian is present and who has expressly allowed the drinking, or a minor using alcohol for religious purposes.

Source: Nassau County Department of Consumer Affairs, Social Host Law.

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