Cities sought to support social host ordinance

In many cities across the state, people hosting parties where minors are consuming alcohol can be subject to fines, jail time or both.

In Chisago County, only unincorporated cities and townships in the county are covered under a social host ordinance.

The Chisago County Alcohol Action Team is hoping to work with the cities in the county to make sure the entire county is covered by social host ordinances.

As part of the team’s June 26 meeting at Trinity Lutheran Church in North Branch, options for expanding the social host ordinance in the county were discussed.

Melissa Vrudny, a certified prevention specialist with Chisago County Community Partnership with Youth and Families, said the Alcohol Action Team is going to partner with the Chisago County Attorney’s Office to draft language for ordinances that can be brought to cities in the county for consideration.

“One of our strategic plan steps was to get a social host ordinance passed in each of the cities so the entire county is covered so it is illegal to provide a place for underage drinking to occur anywhere in the county,” Vrudny said.

She said, by the end of the year, the team hopes to be approaching cities with requests to approve social host ordinances.

Ursula Scheele, team member and North Branch Area High School counselor, said the team will begin working with the county attorney’s office next month to begin the process.

Grant funding runs out

The June 26 Alcohol Action Team meeting was Vrudny’s last as a member of Community Partnership with Youth and Families. The state grant that pays for her position ran out, and the state did not approve additional funding for the position.

Those present for the meeting thanked Vrudny for her leadership and wished her luck.

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