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Posted on: May 15, 2017

Linn County Approves Updated Social Host Ordinance

The Linn County Board of Supervisors today approved an updated Social Host ordinance that adds controlled substances to the ordinance. The original ordinance, approved in 2009, included alcohol only. This was the third and final reading of the ordinance. The vote passed four to one with Supervisor Brent Oleson voting against the ordinance.

The purpose of the ordinance is to prohibit the consumption of alcoholic beverages and/or controlled substances by persons under the age of 21 at gatherings where adults knowingly allow or permit underage persons to consume or possess alcoholic beverages and/or controlled substances on property they own or control. The ordinance establishes penalties for adults who violate the ordinance on property under their control, whether or not they are present at the time of the gathering. “Adult” means any person age 18 or older.

Supervisor Oleson called the revised ordinance “well-meaning,” however, voted against it noting he thinks it could be difficult for parents or adults present at a gathering to know if controlled substances are present.

The ordinance will apply throughout Linn County including municipalities that have not enacted their own ordinance dealing with similar subject matter. The ordinance will become effective following publication in The Gazette, which is expected to be May 18, 2017.

First time offenses carry a civil penalty of $750. Second and subsequent offenses carry a civil penalty of $1,000.

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