Council discusses stiffer underage drinking laws
GONZALES - Tonight council members in Ascension Parish approved an ordinance making it illegal for anyone under 18 to drink alcohol in private homes, unless they are with their parents or guardians.
It's currently against state law for anyone under 21 to buy alcohol. However, Council Chairman Chris Loar says too many kids are beating the system.
"If there are a lot of kids at a private residence, even if it's not their own, a lot of judges have been kinda reluctant to enforce that," Loar said. "What we're trying to do is combat those situations, like now with graduation season. A lot of yard parties where there's multiple, 50 to 100 kids."
Anyone who violates the ordinance could face hundreds of dollars in fines or even jail time.
While Loar knows the ordinance might be tough to enforce, he's hoping it will discourage underage drinking and save lives.
"The parish and police cannot be a substitute for parenting, obviously. But again, we hope it gives people pause or be able to sit with their teenagers and tell them 'Look, you really need to think about this and your actions.' "
Loar said today if the ordinance passed it could become effective in a few weeks.