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New Dakota County ordinance targets party hosts

Southern Dakota County residents who provide a residence or location for people younger than 21 to come together and consume alcohol will be held responsible as of June 1, according to a newly-adopted social host ordinance.

At its regular meeting this week, the Dakota County Board of Commissioners adopted a social host ordinance effective in cities and townships in the southern part of the county. This ordinance will be in effect June 1 for the cities of Coates, Hampton, Miesville, New Trier, Randolph and Vermillion and the townships of Castle Rock, Douglas, Empire, Eureka, Greenvale, Hampton, Marshan, Nininger, Randolph, Ravenna, Sciota, Vermillion and Waterford.

Social host ordinances have been enacted by communities across the metropolitan area and Dakota County. While current laws exist that prohibit providing alcoholic beverages to people younger than 21, sheriff Dave Bellows said it is important to hold responsible these who provide a residence or location where young people can consume alcohol.

Other counties that have social host ordinances in place include Scott, Goodhue, Chisago and Sherburne.

This ordinance is important, said Bellows, because it creates a deterrent on those who would otherwise provide the location for underage drinkers to gather and consumer alcohol. It is important to reduce the opportunity.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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