Supervisor approve first reading of County Ordinance 73

By: Donovan W. Mann –

Dakota City, IA – Humboldt County is looking to change the Code of Ordinance as pertaining to hosting events involving underage consumption.

During the meeting of the County Board of Supervisors on Monday, Jan. 18, Sheriff Dean Kruger and Chief Deputy Cory Lampe met with the supervisors. Their agenda item was to discuss Humboldt County Ordinance No. 73.

This ordinance is entitled “social host and underage consumption ordinance.” The purpose is to protect the interest, welfare, health and safety within Humboldt County by prohibiting the services to and consumption of alcoholic beverage by person under the age of 21. This ordinance specifically addresses the hosting of events where underage consumption occurs.

According to Sheriff Kruger the current state law allows law enforcement to penalize individuals who host parties or other gatherings with alcohol consumption by those under the age of 18. The state law does not cover hosts being penalized if the underage individuals are adult ages 18 through 20. Those consuming underage can still be penalized for underage drinking.

This county ordinance is designed to “cover what the state doesn’t” according to the sheriff. He says he looked at multiple similar ordinances from other counties in order to put together Humboldt’s.

Supervisor Bruce Reimers asked how the law would work if children have a party while their parents are away without their parent’s knowledge/permission. Kruger says his office would have to investigate the situation to prove if the parents gave permission or not before issuing fines.

Penalties for violating the ordinance is a $750 fine for first time offenders. The fine increases to $1,000 for the second and subsequent offenses. The county could also seek reimbursement for enforcement service by provided by emergency responders related to the event, gathering or party.

The supervisors approved the first reading of Ordinance No. 73. They discussed waiving the second and third readings but decided against is to allow for public feedback.