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South Dakota Social Host Law

This past month, Joyce Glynn finally got her victory!  After more than a year and a half of hard fought work to pass a Social Host law, Governor Dennis Daugard signed the bill on March 14th, passing into law South Dakota's first social host law.  This law is aimed at prohibiting a social host from permitting the underage consumption of alcoholic beverages on the social hosts premisis.  A social host is defined as "anyone hosting a social gathering and knowingly condones the illegal consumption of alchol by underage persons on property that the host controls."  The passing of this law means law enforcement will have more of a back bone to stand on when enforcing underage drinking violations.  People like Joyce Glynn, who lost her son Michael in 2006 to a one car accident the morning after he got drunk at a friends graduation party, can rest a little easier knowing that this law may help parents think twice before allowing youth to drink in their homes.  

Below is the bill as it was signed by Governor Daugard.  

AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to prohibit a social host from permitting the underage consumption of alcoholic beverages on the social host's premises and to provide penalties therefor.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:

Section 1. That chapter 35-9 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:

No person, acting as a social host, may, knowingly, permit any person under the age of eighteen to illegally consume any alcoholic beverage, regardless of the source of the alcoholic beverage, on or at the premises of the person acting as social host. Any violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Section 2. That chapter 35-9 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:

No person, acting as a social host, may, knowingly, permit any person aged eighteen, nineteen, or twenty to illegally consume any alcoholic beverage, regardless of the source of the alcoholic beverage, on or at the premises of the person acting as social host. Any violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Section 3. That chapter 35-9 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:

It is a defense against a conviction for a violation of sections 1 and 2 of this Act that, immediately upon learning of the illegal consumption, the social host or an agent of the social host took effective and appropriate action to stop the illegal consumption and to secure or to attempt to secure the contraband alcoholic beverages.

Section 4. That chapter 35-9 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:

It is not a defense of a violation of sections 1 and 2 of this Act that the social host was not physically present on or at the premises if the social host knew that illegal consumption of alcoholic beverages would occur in his or her absence.

Section 5. That chapter 35-9 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:

SB No. 163 Page 1

For purposes of this Act, the term, social host, means anyone who hosts a social gathering and knowingly condones the illegal consumption of alcohol by underage persons on property that the host controls.