Kennesaw targets adults who host underage drinkers

Updated:

Kennesaw has a new "social hosting ordinance," which means if there's a party at your home with underage drinking, police can slap you with a citation.

KENNESAW, Ga. - One Cobb County city is cracking down on underage drinking by going after adults.

Kennesaw has a new "social hosting ordinance," which means if there's a party at your home with underage drinking, police can slap you with a citation. It’s getting mixed reactions.

“If it’s my house then I should be responsible, because I should not allow any minor to drink any type of alcohol in my house,” Luis Becerra told Channel 2’s Erin Coleman.

He and his daughter, Maria, have somewhat different opinions on the new ordinance.

“I'm in college right now, and I see it happen all the time, so I don't know; I just feel like it’s going to happen no matter what,” his daughter said.

With a unanimous vote Monday night, Kennesaw became the latest city in Cobb County to hold adults responsible for underage drinkers in their home. Previously, adults could only be cited if officers could prove they bought the alcohol and gave it to minors.

Kennesaw Police Chief Bill Westenberger is completely in support of the new ordinance, which goes into effect immediately. He said all his officers will be briefed on the new rules by the end of Tuesday.

“What happens inevitably is we'll get a complaint of loud music, and the officer goes to investigate and sees what’s going on and sees other criminal activity as he investigates,” Westenberger said.

He hopes the ordinance will be a deterrent, not a pathway to jail. He said his department has seen a sharp decrease in young people buying alcohol from liquor stores and bars, but not a decrease in young people drinking. He believes the ordinance will make a difference.

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