31 Jul SAPD & Community Coalition Increase Awareness of Underage Drinking Parties
San Antonio Police Department and Community Coalition Increase Awareness of Underage Drinking Parties As New School Year Begins
San Antonio, TX, July 31, 2018 – As a new school year approaches, Circles of San Antonio (COSA) and San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) are taking the next step to increase enforcement of the Social Host Accountability Ordinance. Officers responding to house parties will be issuing Social Host Notice of Violation Cards in addition to a ticket for those who provide a place for minors to consume alcohol.
This local ordinance, passed in March 2017, holds party hosts accountable for providing a place for minors to drink alcohol. COSA developed Social Host Notice of Violation Cards for officers to utilize as an educational tool when responding to an underage drinking party by issuing a card to each party host. The San Antonio Police Department, Circles of San Antonio coalition, and Texans Standing Tall, a statewide coalition, have been working in partnership to protect San Antonio youth from impaired car crashes and other negative consequences of underage alcohol use by addressing the issue of youth social access to alcohol.
Detective Terry Lowe, San Antonio Police Department VICE Unit, will deliver 200 Social Host Notice of Violation Cards to each substation of the San Antonio Police Department. Along with the cards, Detective Lowe will debrief officers about the Social Host Accountability Ordinance. Police vehicle computers are equipped with additional resources including a training video and frequently asked questions to assist officers responding to underage drinking parties where Social Host violations occur.
“By providing these notice cards to party hosts, it ensures community members are educated on the violation and the fees they will be required to pay as a result of violating the Social Host Accountability Ordinance.” Vickie Adams, Coalition Director with the San Antonio Council on Alcohol & Drug Awareness.
The beginning of the new school year is a high-‐risk time for youth to engage in underage drinking and other associated risky behavior. The average age of first alcohol use in Bexar County is 11 years old, that’s younger than the state average. 41% of high school students describe accessing alcohol through friends and parties as “very easy”. 75% of youth offenders identified “house parties” as the place most of their peers drink illegally.” (San Antonio School Survey).
“SAPD has been very proactive in developing enforcement procedures for the Social Host Accountability Ordinance. These notice cards are just another example of how this department is serving as a statewide leader in creating a system for enforcing social host accountability ordinances,” said Anne-‐Shirley Schreiner -‐ Strategy Specialist, Texans Standing Tall, “TST is proud of the work in San Antonio and their successful efforts to spearhead enforcement procedures and provide guidance to other cities that have similar ordinances.”
About Texans Standing Tall
Texans Standing Tall is the statewide coalition committed to creating healthier and safer communities in which underage alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use have no place. We are a leader in promoting evidence-‐based environmental prevention strategies in Texas and maintain strong partnerships with local coalitions, institutions of higher education, state agencies, individuals, statewide nonprofits, and other health and prevention agencies across the state.