Committee reviews social host survey

A recent questionnaire on the social host ordinance was reviewed at Tuesday’s meeting of the he Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant, SPF SIG, committee.

Mickie Shubin, prevention specialist at Community and Family Resources in Webster City, lead discussion on the questionnaire. Recently, she asked people attending the Hamilton County Fair, South Hamilton school registration and the Webster City Back to School Bash at Upper Des Moines Opportunity to fill out a form to identify what the public knows about social host laws.

Shubin said a social host is a person who knowingly allows underage drinking on their property. She and others on the SPF SIG committee advocated for the passage of an ordinance to penalize social hosts in Webster City in 2011 and Randall in 2013.

Of those who took the questionnaire, 36 people who said they understood it, 34 people who said they didn’t, and 16 people who were unsure. The majority of respondents, 61, said they had not heard about the new state social host law which went into effect on July 1, compared to 25 who said yes. Committee Member Kathy Getting said those who did not know the specific date might have said no to the question even if they knew about the law itself.

While the state of Iowa passed a social host law, local ordinances remain in effect. Most questionnaire respondents, 53 people, said the state law was a good thing. Others, 22 people, said it does not go far enough. 11 people had no answer or were unsure.

The final question asked responders if social host laws would stop them from hosting teen drinking parties with the possibility of being charged. The vast majority of people, 82, said yes while four people said no.