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|Social Host Voted Down
|The Galesburg City Council's questions were just as plentiful the second time around.
A social host ordinance was on final reading at Monday night's City Council meeting, but went to final reading after pointed questions at the last meeting.
Social host aims to make adults liable with knowledge of underage drinking on their property.
Galesburg Police Captain Rodney Riggs told the council that the proposed ordinance wasn't something police would use all the time.
"It's just another tool that we would have to curtail it," says Riggs. "If anybody was thinking about hosting a party or putting something on - it goes back to the old holidome days where people would go out and rent a room for their kids and they would have beer at their room and that would be something that's covered by this."
The State of Illinois has an existing statute outlining the terms of social hosting violations.
The Liquor Advisory Commission argues that many communities have laws mirroring, or that are slightly stronger than state statutes.
First Ward Alderman Ken Goad says he agrees that police need more tools.
"Too many people have the idea that 'I would rather have them at my house doing this than out at somebody else's house and then having to drive home' and that is just as serious as far as I'm concerned," says Goad. "We need to be doing everything we can to deter this kind of behavior amongst adults."
Riggs told the council that the Galesburg Police force was only able to enforce the state law once in the last year.
More than 10 individuals gave lengthy discussion at the Council meeting, including: members of the liquor commission, police, aldermen and community residents.
The Commission decided to send the measure to the City Council at the end of 2012. Much of the discussion at that time surrounded gray area in the draft ordinance.
At the Liquor Advisory Commission meetings, allowing local police have the discretion when exercising the ordinance was a possible solution.
Seventh Ward Alderman Jeremy Karlin says a fine was too little for the crimes being discussed.
"I understand that this local ordinance goes beyond the state charge, in that, it addresses illegal substances, but I can't envision a circumstance in which I would want the police officers to have the discretion to impose a fine only for individuals who are giving kids drugs.
Aldermen voted down the measure 3 to 5 with Mayor Sal Garza siding with the majority.
The Liquor Advisory commission has said in the past that they would be willing to rework the language if voted down by the City Council.
|03 18 13 by Newsroom
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