In addition to social host citations discussed below, teens can suffer legal consequences for underage possession, consumption, purchase of alcohol or public intoxication under “minor in possession”, “open container” and other laws. These consequences can be in the form of infractions or misdemeanors. Misdemeanors potentially have to be disclosed in college applications.
Additionally, teens under the age of 21 cannot drive with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.01% or higher. Even if teens are nowhere near a car, they still can have their driver’s licenses suspended, restricted or delayed for up to one year for each offense related to the possession, consumption or purchase of alcohol.
DUI'S. Over the holiday period, there will be an increased presence of law enforcement on highways and streets with checkpoints coordinated by local DUI Task Forces. Beyond holiday periods, CHP and other local police departments have zero tolerance for driving under the influence. CHP also strictly enforces an 11 pm curfew for drivers with “provisional” driver’s licenses (during the first year) as well as restrictions on new drivers driving other teens.
Social Host Citations Involving Alcohol/Drugs and Teens. Social Host Ordinances impose liability on homeowners who host gatherings with alcohol, marijuana and other controlled substances that are attended by minors. Depending on the jurisdiction, they may also be levied against teens. Fines range from $750 to $2,500. Marin County and a growing number of local jurisdictions such as Mill Valley and Novato now include marijuana and other controlled substances as well as alcohol/drug use on party buses. In addition to payment of a fine, these jurisdictions require teens and adults to attend a restorative justice program.
Recently the Central Marin Police Authority, which has jurisdiction over the towns of Larkspur, Corte Madera and San Anselmo instituted a change in policy which treats violations of Social Host Ordinances as criminal misdemeanors.