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Dunahoo bill to hold party hosts accountable for underage drinking
Emory Dunahoo

A bill in the Georgia General Assembly would create a fine for adults who contributed to underage drinking as social hosts.

Rep. Emory Dunahoo, R-Gainesville, said the bill helps to “put a little bit of teeth into solving a problem.”

The bill concerns serving or “allowing the furnishing” of alcohol to underage children without the permission of the child’s parent.

“Today in Hall County, if they did, they can’t really bring you a ticket. You’re on your private property until they leave that property and something bad happens. They can’t really do anything about it,” Dunahoo said.

The first fine would be $300.

“If you didn’t learn a lesson, the second time, depending on the discretion of the judge is $1,000 or less, unless you broke one of the other codes already in existence.”

A version of this bill was dropped in March 2017, and Dunahoo said he plans to put in a substitute next week. The Gainesville lawmaker said he wanted to fine tune some of the language of the law.

Dunahoo said this started three years ago after hearing from local law enforcement. The concern was for the dangerous consequences following a party, including teenagers driving home intoxicated.

“We were finding that the adults that had had the party, nothing was really happening to them,” said Judy Brownell, substance abuse prevention director for Center Point. “For us, it became the issue of adults need to be accountable for youth being in their home and not supplying alcohol to the youth underage.”