Councilman proposes ticketing property owners for underage drinking

City council subcommittee to discuss proposal Wednesday

By Myra Arthur - Anchor/Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A San Antonio city councilman hopes to crack down on alcohol being served to minors on private property. A City Council subcommittee will discuss the issue Wednesday.

District 4 Councilman Rey Saldana wants officers to be able to ticket private property owners, or the person in charge of a property, who allow the sale of alcohol to minors.

Currently, officers can arrest whoever provides alcohol to people under the age of 21, but that may not always be the property owner. For example, if someone supplied the alcohol to a minor at their parents’ home, a proposed ordinance would hold the parents responsible and would be ticketed. How much that fine will cost has yet to be decided.

"It should be the type of penalty that would send a message, not only that you are allowing underage drinking and all the ill effects it could have. Underage drinkers who are assaulted, are involved in acts of violence, but that you bear the brunt of that in your pocketbook as well,” Saldana said.

When it comes to private property, police officers must have probable cause consent, a search warrant or be in emergency circumstances for them to access private property.

Saldana said the San Antonio City Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse supports the proposal of ticketing property owners where underage drinking is occurring.

The proposal will be discussed Wednesday at the city’s governance committee meeting before it can move on before the City Council for vote at a later date. 

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