Matthew Beckett: Take a position on law

To the editor:

The social hosting ordinance looks to take its first steps toward law at the Oct. 13 Craig City Council meeting. The meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at City Hall. I encourage everyone to attend, regardless of your position on the ordinance. The ability to make our voices heard is what makes our country truly amazing.

The ordinance reads, "the City Council finds that the threat posed to the public health, safety and welfare by underage persons possessing and consuming alcohol on private property, : requires owners or persons in control of private property to ensure that they do not knowingly permit underage persons to use the private property for the purpose of consuming alcoholic beverages."

That summarizes what the ordinance is written to accomplish. Without the legal jargon, simply it means it would be illegal to provide places for youth to drink alcohol.

When reading this summary, one might ask:

Q: Aren't there laws already on the books to handle this?

A: There are laws against providing a minor with alcohol but nothing concerning providing the place where the alcohol is consumed. Theoretically speaking, I could host underage drinking parties every night provided I did not purchase the alcohol. The youth at the party could be cited for minor in possession, but as for me, the host, there currently is nothing that legally could be done.

Q: I should have the right to provide alcohol to my child. For cooking, weddings, etc.

A: This ordinance will not change those laws. You, as a parent, are allowed to let your minor children drink in the home or on your private property. You do not have the right to provide alcohol to minors other than your own children, and with the passing of this law, you will not be allowed to knowingly provide the place for minors other than your children to consume alcohol.

Q: How do we prove someone knowingly provided?

A: This is a valid point and one that the city attorney will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Our judicial system is designed to investigate and solve these types of cases. Police respond to underage drinking parties because they are called by neighbors, community members, concerned parents, etc. It is our responsibility as homeowners, and Craig residents to take control of our own homes and property. As adults, we always should know what is happening on our property and in our homes.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of this ordinance, even though questions remain, is that there is no downside to passing it. If this ordinance saves one life it is successful. Adults need to take one step back and realize this ordinance is but one strategy in a comprehensive prevention plan that allows young people to live healthier, longer lives.

Limiting access to alcohol is a proven strategy to curtail underage consumption. I am in the prevention business. Why wait until it's an issue of intervention, treatment, punishment or even worse yet, loss?

As a community all we need to do is answer this question, is it in the best interest of our youth?

Matthew Beckett

Grand Futures Prevention Coalition

Comments

jamieb5691 4 years, 6 months ago

I would have to disagree on this whole subject of it being illegal to provide a place for underage drinkers. I DO agree it should be illegal to provide them with alcohol. Would you rather your child be out partying somewhere you have no knowledge about?? Taking the chance of drinking and driving, or getting in a car with another teenager drinking? Well not me, I'd rather see my child not drink at all, but we all know teenagers do that. So I would rather my child be in a safe enviorment, know they cant drink and drive and an adult be there for safety reasons such as alcohol poisoning, passing out, fights etc... If this was capable when I was a teenager it would have saved numerous of my friends lifes from car wrecks, guns and overdose. If an adult supplies the "place to party" they can also supply a basket for everyone to put their keys in when they walk through the door, saving drunk driving. They could also call 911 if needed because we all know kids are not going to due to the fact they will go to jail for underage drinking. Me personally would like to see more for these kids to do, there is NOTHING in Craig for them to do so they turn to drugs and alcohol out of boredom!! That is stated by several teenagers speaking to me. A rec center, pool tables, roller rink, something..how about you address this issue FIRST!

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als362 4 years, 6 months ago

To jamie, if you want a rec center, I hope you are willing to pay for it as well. Because i do not want to pay for a rec center so you don't have to discipline and watch your child.

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jamieb5691 4 years, 6 months ago

My child is not even old enough to use a rec center, I was stating a fact that was given by several teenagers living in this community. Also why dont they use the money supposely they got off our taxes that was raised for the hospital?? The general contractor who built the hospital quote unquote stated "If all the money was supposed to be from your guys' taxes, then why did 98% of the funding come from HUD?" (Don't you think he would know?) So if thats a fact, who pocketed the money? I'm sure any long time resident of Craig knows this answer! Why don't they use that money for a rec center or something else for these kids? TEENAGERS WILL have problems and turn to drugs, and/or alcohol if they cant even walk out the door w/o any type of harassment from local authorities. Reason being as we all know they do everything you tell them not to do, its just part of who they are at that age.....so why not help them by occupying their time with something legal and fun?? Growing up in this town, I know for a FACT that there has never been anything for teenagers to do w/o being harassed, I also know when WE were all teenagers that we BEGGED the city for some kind of amusement, whether it be rec center, game hall etc....All I am saying is that why can they take the time to have a meeting to make a new law on providing a party place for the kids but they cant take the time to try and fix the root of the problem?? I understand a rec center is expensive so how about an arcade place like grand junctions that is always packed. You dont think this wouldnt make money??? Probably tremendous amounts for OUR city! Local police of Meeker stated their crime and drug use per teenagers has cut in half since their new rec center went in!!

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als362 4 years, 6 months ago

All I am saying is, if that is what you want, pay for it with memberships or admission fees, not tax money!

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reader1 4 years, 6 months ago

als362 you come across as though you do not care about the youth of your community. A rec center is not intend to take the place of a parent. All kids in Craig need something to do, jaimeb5691 is absolutely correct that there is nothing for kids to do in Craig so they turn to drugs and alcohol. You are fairly naive if you believe for one second that the only kids that do drugs or drink are those whose parents don't watch or discipline their children. I know plenty of kids who drink and do drugs who have amazing, caring parents who have done everything possible to keep their children away from that scene. I understand not wanting to be taxed to death but there are some things that I think are worth it and the new hospital was not one of those things.

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als362 4 years, 6 months ago

I have nothing against the kids in Craig. I just do not want to pay for something that I for one won't use. If you think a rec center is the thing you want, that is fine with me. You can build one as big and grand as you want it to be. I just don't want to be forced to pay for it. If this is what you want, figure out how to pay for it with memberships and admission fees. It might be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I will not use it and do not wish to have to pay for another facility that I will not use. Thats all I am saying. Don't take my not wanting to pay for someone elses play time as a slam on all kids.

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