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Social Host Bill Now Law

March 15, 2014, 10:07 PM by Leland Steva

Social Host Bill Now Law

Senate Bill 163, also known as the social host bill, is now law after Governor Dennis Daugaard signed the bill yesterday. 

The issue of underage alcohol consumption will always be a difficult subject to Joyce Glynn, whose son Michael was killed while driving home drunk from a party in 2006. Since she lost her son, she has been fighting to create stiffer penalties for adults who host underage drinking parties. She stood next to Governor Dennis Daugaard when he signed this year's social host bill into law, and she was glad to see pen put to paper on something that she has worked on for years.

"It felt good to sleep last night and not be worrying about what was going to be happening and what else needed to be done to get this bill passed," Joyce Glynn said.

Darcy Jensen with Prairie View Prevention says it will take time to find out how affective the new law is. She hopes that the new legislation will help lower underage consumption not just with punishing adults for hosting, but also providing awareness on the issue.

"I think this law has a life of its own. Not only in enforcement but in an opportunity for families and kids to talk about the legalities of it, and why it's in place," Jensen said. 

Lynn says she is happy to have this rule in place, but she hopes she never sees anyone penalized for breaking the new law.

"If people are punished for this then it means that kids were in a situation where they were drinking alcohol and the potential of harm was there," Glynn said.

With this new law, Glynn hopes that other parents won't have the heartbreak that she had eight years ago.

The penalty for hosting underage parties is a class one misdemeanor. The law will go into place in July.

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