Press Release

 

Thousand Oaks - Regional Training on Social Host Laws
5/21/2014 8:00:00 AM

 

Nature of Incident:

Regional Training on Social Host Laws

Location:

Thousand Oaks Police Department.  2101 E Olsen Rd Thousand Oaks

Date & Time:

5-15-2014 at 10:30 AM

Unit Responsible:

Thousand Oaks Police Department and Ventura County Sheriff's Office

Narrative:

The County of Ventura has been recognized for innovative approaches to reduce underage drinking and support responsible alcohol policies.  Between 2006 and 2007, cities across Ventura County enacted underage drinking policies known as Social Host Ordinances.  Social Host fines are civil penalties aimed at individuals who host parties where alcohol is available to minors.  These parties catering to juveniles are high risk environments; where fights, vandalism, and even assaults occur. 

 

A study published this year on the effects of Social Host laws in Ventura County showed a significant reduction in 'last 30-day drinking among 9th and 11th graders' locally; as well as reductions in the size of unruly gatherings' especially those with 50 guests or more'since the laws were adopted.  (Please See VenturaCountyLimits.org/law for study details)

 

Because of intense interest from nearby cities and counties to reduce teen drinking, numerous agencies began contacting both the Ventura County Behavioral Health and the Thousand Oaks Police Department to identify strategies they could use to implement a Social Host Ordinance in their own areas. In response, the Thousand Oaks Police Department, Ventura County Sheriff and the Ventura County Behavioral Health Department designed a training program available to any municipality or community prevention organization.

 

On May 15, 2014, coalitions from Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange Counties attended a one-day training to learn from our efforts.

 

Speakers presenting the information were some of the most prominent leaders in developing the initiative over the last several years, including Sheriff Geoff Dean, Thousand Oaks Councilwoman Jacqui Irwin, Prevention Services Manager Dan Hicks, Behavioral Health Division Manager Patrick Zarate, and Captain Jim Fryhoff from the Thousand Oaks Police Department.

 

The current Social Host Ordinance is a local law enacted in all ten cities and unincorporated areas of Ventura County.  It holds the hosts of parties responsible where underage drinking is allowed.  The penalties can be civil fines or community service.  Fines range from $500.00 to $2,500.00.  Since its inception in 2006, hundreds of citations have been issued in local communities. The results are in increased safety for our teens. 

 

'This is not about raising money for the cities, it's about changing reckless behavior that could hurt our children.' said Captain Jim Fryhoff (Thousand Oaks Assistant Chief of Police).     

 

Councilwoman Irwin commented that 'Up to 70% of the sexual assaults on young women and teens came out of home party settings. This is not a rite of passage, it is a preventable harm' 

 

The Thousand Oaks Police Department and Ventura County Sheriff's Office would like to remind the public that if they host parties where underage drinking is present, they will be liable under a Social Host Ordinance. 

 

Please keep the health and safety of our children foremost in planning your social gatherings this summer.

 

Prepared by:

Senior Deputy Edward Beauvais, Crime Prevention Bureau

Media Release Date:

5-21-14

Follow-Up Contact:

Ed Beauvais (805) 371-8362 / edward.beauvais@ventura.org

Approved by:

Captain James Fryhoff