Social Host Ordinance – YMCA of El Paso
Paso del Norte region
Alcohol is the drug of choice among El Paso young people, according to a new report from the Health Foundation’s Shift+ initiative. The report showed that for 56 percent of 12th graders and for 30 percent of 9th graders alcohol was available at “most or all of the parties they attend.” The goals of the initiative are to reduce underage drinking and binge drinking in the Paso del Norte region.
Because of the alarming data, the Health Foundation teamed up with the YMCA of El Paso and the Alcohol Impact Network to spearhead a civil social host ordinance for the city of El Paso. After countless hours of meetings, research and presentations, the City Council of El Paso adopted the first civil Social Host Ordinance in Texas. This ordinance holds adults accountable for providing places for underage parties. It will also provide law enforcement with an additional mechanism that will help prevent some of these parties. Overall, the intent of the ordinance is to protect public health and safety and it will work well as a community preventive strategy.
The Alcohol Impact Network led the project with support from the Health Foundation and the YMCA of El Paso. The Network is a group of community members concerned with the dangers of underage and binge drinking. The group has been successful in implementing similar ordinances in Luna County, New Mexico and the city of Anthony, New Mexico.
"Every child deserves to grow up in a society that protects them from alcohol-related harm. Research shows that these ordinances reduce the number of large underage drinking parties, and help keep our young people safe. Nobody wants another parent making the decision that their child can drink. Having an ordinance in place helps support parents who are already doing the right thing and helps change community norms for the better. We all want our kids to grow up safe and healthy and I'm proud of El Paso for being the first city in Texas to adopt a civil social host ordinance!" - Aileen Soto, mother and member of the Alcohol Impact Network
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