Maui Social Host Ordinance Aims to Reduce Underage Drinking, Takes Effect Sept. 1
* Updated June 23, 5:54 AM
A new social host ordinance aimed at reducing underage drinking goes into effect for the island of Maui on Sept. 1, 2021. The Maui Coalition for Drug-Free Youth launched a new website, mcdfy.org, on June 21 to help raise awareness about the ordinance, and to help parents stop underage drinking at home.
The ordinance, which was passed through the Maui County Council in February, holds adults liable for illegal underage drinking on their property.
According to Maui Coalition for Drug-Free Youth Chair and mother Kapua Chang, “For me, the Social Host Ordinance is another layer of accountability in the efforts to drastically minimize underage drinking and the consequences that come of it.”
The Coalition is ramping up education and outreach as summer begins. Summer is a time for graduation parties and other celebrations, which are high-risk settings for youth. Parties create the opportunity for drug or alcohol use, which have lead to car crashes, assaults and injuries.
“If you are the parent of a teen or tween, now is a perfect time to have a conversation about alcohol. Ask what their friends think and do, as well as what their own experiences and views on alcohol are. Take time to listen. Also let them know your expectations. Consider sharing with them that underage drinking is never safe, and has led to fatal car crashes, sexual assault, fights, drownings, arrests, and other negative consequences,” organizers said.
“Alcohol is often conveyed in our media as a necessary requirement for celebrations and fun, when in actuality, it is the third-leading preventable cause of death in our society,” said Coalition Director and father Rick Collins. “It’s great to see steps being taken to bring public awareness about the sobering consequences of alcohol to our community.”
The Maui Coalition for Drug-Free Youth will continue to do outreach to youth and adults on the benefits of reducing alcohol consumption, and the risks of underage drinking, in preparation for the implementation of the Social Host Liability ordinance.
“Young people want smart policies and good enforcement to protect themselves, their friends, and family from serious harm. We are grateful to Coalition members and partner organizations such as Maui Youth and Family Services, Maui Family Support Services, Maui Economic Opportunity, and others to help spread the word,” said Coalition Coordinator Andrea Snow.