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Host Bill Turned Down, But Not Dead

January 23, 2013, 6:03 PM by Sammi Bjelland

Host Bill Turned Down, But Not Dead
PIERRE, SD -

Eighteen-year-old Michael Glynn was one of 13 teenagers killed in alcohol-related crashes in South Dakota in 2006. For the past seven years his mother, Joyce Glynn, has made it her mission to curb teen drinking in South Dakota.

On Wednesday, she testified in front of the Senate State Affairs committee in an effort to pass a 'social host' bill that would make it illegal for adults to provide teens with a place to drink.

"This 'social host' bill will give law enforcement officers another tool they can use to keep our kids safe," Glynn said.

Glynn said the legislation would send a message to parents that it's not okay to host teen drinking parties.

"Why when we work so hard to protect our kids in so many ways do we not protect them from what's causing more harm to them than anything else," Glynn said.

But several members of the committee disagreed saying there are already laws on the books that can hold adults accountable for hosting parties.

Senator Corey Brown of Gettysburg said he didn't think a bill like this would have even prevented the death of Glynn's son, who got behind the wheel after drinking at a graduation party in 2006.

"If Senate Bill 94 would have been in place at that time would that one additional law changed anything that night. I would argue it probably wouldn't," Brown said.

Brown went on to say an issue like underage drinking can not always be solved with legislation and sometimes curbing the problem starts with an effort from the community.

"I think a more appropriate answer sometimes is the community. The parents and the folks that are in the environment around those kids. At the end of the day we can pass code after code up here and I don't know that it's going to necessarily do anything to keep kids safe," Brown said.

The bill was defeated on a close 5-4 vote and the main sponsor says he will likely try to reintroduce new legislation addressing some of the concerns brought up on Wednesday. The filing deadline is next week.

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