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Editorial: New law in N. London will help save lives

The New London City Council took a proactive step Wednesday by approving a social host ordinance.

This new ordinance will hold citizens "criminally responsible" for hosting parties on private property that allow underage kids to possess or consume alcohol, whether the adult hosting the event provided the alcohol or not.

The New London action is the right step. It follows similar ordinances in Willmar and Kandiyohi County.

The city of Spicer is also considering a similar ordinance.

All cities and counties in the region who have not considered a social host ordinance should seriously look at this issue.

Underage drinking has been a rite of passage for decades in west central Minnesota. Often, the underage consumption is just considered part of growing up.

For most, underage consumption leads to poor decisions and unsafe actions. For a few unlucky individuals, those decisions and actions lead to serious injury and even death.

If a social host ordinance saves one teenager or young adult from a bad decision or deadly action, it is a worthy law.

Such social host ordinances give local law enforcement personnel the necessary tools to deal with "party houses."

Social host ordinances also send a message to the community and adults that providing alcohol to underage teens and adults is against the law.

Kudos to the city of New London for adopting a social host ordinance. Hopefully, Spicer and other cities in west central Minnesota will follow New London's example.