At last night’s Common Council meeting, the alderpersons made it very clear that they think that a person found social hosting should not be allowed to serve alcohol in a bar or tavern. Eric Kramer had applied for a bartender’s license. Even though he did not appear at the Licensing & Permit Committee meeting, that committee approved him for a license, but added on 40 demerit points. (Once a bartender has accumulated 100 demerit points, he/she must appear before the committee for a review.) However, at the Common Council meeting, there was much discussion on this issue, and the council voted to deny the license by a vote of 14 to 3. (Alderpersons G. John Ruffolo, Anthony Kennedy, and Steve Bostrom voted against the denial).
The Boys and Girls Club hosted a free family event Saturday. Walkin’ In My Shoes and the Kenosha Community Health Center co-sponsored the event. Several Kenosha community partner organizations came together to promote healthy lifestyle and wellness for today’s teens and young adults. The fair ran from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Exhibitors included:
Youth leaders from the Teen Task Force and the Concerned Citizens Coalition On Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse for Greater Kenosha, working together to create a safer, healthier lifestyle, joined forces today to combat Kenosha’s growing problem of underage drinking. Alcohol has been identified as the number one drug of choice among youth and, according to our youth, one of the easiest to obtain. Thirteen local alcohol retailers participated in the group effort by allowing the teens to come in and place “Parents Who Host Lose the Most . . . Don’t Be a Party to Teenage Drinking” stickers on their cases of beer and other alcoholic products.
After consuming excessive amounts of rum, vodka, and beer at an underage drinking party, a 16-year-old Pennsylvania girl died, and the “social host” will spend up to 23 months in jail. The teenager’s blood alcohol content was 0.44, five times the legal driving limit for an adult motorist. The “social host” did not provide the alcohol; however, she was home when the incident occurred. “Adults have the responsibility to supervise and oversee to make sure minors aren’t consuming alcohol because it can have dire consequences, like it did in this case,” said Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck.
According to the HOPE Council Underage Drinking Accountability Program Survey, Kenosha youth who currently consume alcohol were likely to have had their first drink between the ages of 13 and 17. “Town hall meetings, focus group interviews, and day-to-day conversations with teenagers tell us that our kids are acquiring alcohol predominantly in social settings, from older siblings, older friends, friends’ parents, and their own parents,” said Steve Fredriksson, Process Director for “Stand Tall Against Alcohol,” a project of the Concerned Citizens Coalition on Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse for Greater Kenosha. “Statistics overwhelmingly show that today’s drunk driver was yesterday’s underage drinker.”
At Monday night’s Common Council meeting, the second reading of the proposed changes by Alderperson Ray Misner to various sections of the Code of General Ordinances regarding the change in responsibilities of the “Committee on Licensing/Permit,” allocating them to the “Commission on Licensing/Permit” or “Committee on Judicial Review” was approved. Misner stated that he felt that this change will make the process of getting licenses issued more efficient.
An ordinance designed to increase enforcement of existing underage drinking laws has passed the Kenosha Public Safety & Welfare Committee meeting Monday.
The proposed “social hosting” ordinance, sponsored by Alderman Michael Orth, more clearly delineates parent/guardian legal responsibility as it pertains to underage drinking gatherings. It also defines who can be held responsible when underage drinking occurs, and defines “residence, premises, public or private property” as those areas pertain to underage drinking gatherings. This ordinance closely mimics the social ordinance that has been in force in Manitowoc. That ordinance is one that is considered a “model”, and that is being replicated at municipalities throughout the state.
Kenosha Police Officer John P. DeMario had a memorable Police & Fire Commission meeting this morning.
DeMario was promoted to sergeant this morning by the commission. He also was awarded a plaque from the Concerned Citizens Coalition for Greater Kenosha for being a tireless advocate in the enforcement of underage drinking laws.
Steve Fredriksson, SPF process director for the “Stand Tall Against Alcohol” Project, presented DeMario with a plaque at the meeting . Fredriksson singled out the Kenosha Police Department and the City Attorney’s Office for having eased the passing of an ordinance that now makes it easier for the Kenosha Police Department to cite underage drinkers.