Social Host Ordinance returns

Supporters will present research to push for another vote

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If you go

What: Steamboat Springs City Council meeting

When: 5 p.m. today

Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

Agenda: 5 p.m. Call to order

Review topics: 1. Update on Social Host Ordinance

2. Water Conservation Plan

3. Possible additional youth and adult tournaments

4. Request for proposals for the redevelopment of the Iron Horse Inn

Call: City offices at 879-2060 for more information; call 871-7070 to listen live to City Council meetings

— Despite a defeat at a December meeting of the Steamboat Springs City Council, supporters of a social host ordinance are bringing the issue back, armed with more information in the hopes of persuading council members.

The proposed ordinance remains the same, but Dervla Lacy, Routt County director of Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, will present a 31-page, extensively researched and footnoted proposal in the hopes of encouraging council members to add the ordinance to a future agenda for a first reading.

The ordinance, which would provide penalties for homeowners who allow minors to consume alcohol on their property with their knowledge, failed on a tie vote in December when the council voted 3-3. Councilman Jon Quinn, who previously had expressed support for the proposal, was absent.

Lacy was appointed director of Grand Futures in February and has been working on the proposal with Capt. Joel Rae of the Steamboat Springs Police Department. Today will be her first chance to speak in support of the ordinance on behalf of Grand Futures.

"As it is, (council members) were concerned there wasn't new information," she said. "We've kind of bombarded them with this information."

Rae said the summary packet represents "thousands of pages from some very reputable" sources, including task forces from other states, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and others.

"We've included all of those studies and task force information that all come to the same conclusion," he said.

Lacy said the additional information is intended to address four specific concerns raised by the council: privacy rights, how the ordinance would fit in with other community initiatives, how the ordinance would affect students driving under the influence of alcohol, and the enforceability of the ordinance. Lacy will present the results of her research at tonight's meeting.

Rae said the support for the proposal does not come from the police department, but from community groups that banded together to pass the ordinance.

"It's a difficult position for me. We've been working on this and trying to get it passed for a couple years. We tried to really hit it hard with the Excellence Project for over a year now," he said. "We went through due process and all the channels and it didn't pass."

If passed, the social host ordinance would allow authorities to fine adults found guilty of knowingly providing a location for underage drinking. Mandatory community service and adult education programs also would be imposed. Jail time for repeat offenders would be at the discretion of the municipal judge.

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