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Reaction to Social Host Bill Failure

January 23, 2013, 10:05 PM by Brady Mallory

Reaction to Social Host Bill Failure
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

The 'social host' bill was an attempt to make it illegal for parents to allow teenagers to drink on their property.

Joyce Glynn was one of the bill's biggest supporter. Her 18-year-old son was one of 13 teens killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2006.

The bill was defeated by a 5-4 vote during its first hearing Wednesday morning. Republican Senator Corey Brown of Gettysburg opposed the bill saying that he doesn't think the legislation "would have changed" anything the night Glynn's son died.

Prairie View Prevention Services Director Darcy Jensen says 20 percent of alcohol in the state is consumed by those not old enough to legally drink.  She thinks this type of legislation would be a good start.

"Underage drinking and hosting parties for underages is not something that should be a South Dakota tradition. It is not something we should be proud of," Darcy Jensen said.

Jensen is disappointed the bill did not go further than committee, but she is not entirely surprised that it failed.

"It might take a couple of times before this becomes law," Jensen said.

There was a lot of emotion behind this bill, which may have been a big reason why it failed. Jensen said emotions do not always make the strongest arguments in Pierre.

"In my opinion, they don't want it to be personal. They don't have to face the reality that undergrad drinking and social hosting by parents is wrong," Jensen said.

Several other states like Wisconsin and Michigan have social hosting laws. Illinois just revised and broadened its laws. It is an ever-evolving process and Jensen does not think this type of bill will be gone for good.

"Who could not support keeping our kids safe? Who would say that's something they're not interested in?" Jensen said.

This measure's defeat could give supporters a chance to fine-tune the language of the bill.

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