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New law gets tough on underage drinking



Today is the kick-off the Memorial Day weekend, and many San Diegans will surely use the holiday as an excuse to party. City officials want to remind parents that a law goes into effect today that cracks down on underage drinking parties. KPBS reporter Beth Ford Roth has the story.

The new ordinance will stiffen the punishment for adults who allow underage drinking at their parties. The penalties include not only hundreds of dollars in fines, but possibly thousands of dollars in recouped costs of sending out police.
Councilman Brian Maienschein says police find these teenage house parties usually occur at the same addresses.

Maienschein: "When they'd leave the parties there'd be all sorts of problems, whether it was driving accidents, whether it was vandalism, clearly there were sometimes incidence of sexual assault at these parties, so now police will have a tool where they can go there and make sure that neighborhoods don't have to deal with repeated parties of 400, 500 young kids."

The ordinance is a reworded version of the original "house party" law that was ruled unconstitutional.
Beth Ford Roth, KPBS news.

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