Ordinance makes homeowners responsible for underage drinking

Police can fine homeowners $300 for giving alcohol to minors

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio homeowners could soon be cited for allowing underage drinking on their property.

The City Council on Thursday unanimously passed a social host ordinance proposed by District 4 Councilman Rey Saldana.

The ordinance allows police to write a $300 ticket to a homeowner or the person responsible for a property where alcohol is being served to minors.

“Oftentimes SAPD (San Antonio Police Department) is breaking up parties and adults are skating away with the excuse that 'Oh, I didn’t know it was happening,' or 'I was in another room and didn't see it.' This creates a very strict bar to adults that we cannot get away with underage drinking,” Saldana said.

“Most of the time they’re not just providing alcohol to their child, they're providing alcohol to many friends of that young child. So it’s not okay and we should not make that call for those other parents,” said Abigail Moore, with the San Antonio Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

It is already illegal to provide alcohol to minors, but the ordinance holds property owners accountable where the drinking occurs.

First time offenders will be fined $300. It’s $500 any time after that. And repeat offenders would have to pay for the cost of first responders.

The ordinance takes effect March 1.