Social host ordinance starts Dec. 12, not this weekend

The social host ordinance that was expected to go into effect Nov. 13 was actually supposed to be set for Dec. 12.

City clerk Shari Moore said that the way an ordinance works is that it goes into effect “30 days after approval and publication.” She said someone mistakenly set the date as Nov. 13. The St. Paul City Council had passed it Oct. 14, thus not giving the ordinance the 30 days needed.

Under the new ordinance, those deemed a social host in a situation where there are underage drinkers could get a maximum penalty of $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail. A violation of this ordinance is considered a misdemeanor.

Not just legal-age people will be considered hosts as underage people who host parties will he held to the same penalties.

John Hershey, neighborhood liaison for St. Thomas, said that the ordinance is to “help close the responsibility loophole in hosting parties and basically to hold people responsible who create the atmosphere for underage drinking and/or disruptive events.”

More details about the ordinance are available on the St. Paul city website.

Stephani Bloomquist can be reached at

11 Replies to “Social host ordinance starts Dec. 12, not this weekend”

  1. This is the biggest joke ever. “hold people responsible who create the atmosphere for underage drinking and/or disruptive events.”???.. I believe that if you’re old and “responsible” enough to be shot and killed in war, then you should be able to LEGALLY drink a beer or two. Most of our parents had the legal drinking age lowered growing up becaues of the Vietnam War. what is the difference between that war and this war? I think they should be reconsidering lowering the legal drinking age AGAIN, rather than gipping tighter to the choke-hold around underage drinking.

  2. I agree with Mike. All I can say is that I’m glad I turned 21 before this mess came around and I’m glad I now live across the river in Minneapolis.

  3. Although I agree that the ordinance isnt the greatest. I dont think you can use the “we are old enough to fight and die in war” argument. If you want to claim that you can fight and die in war, then join the military and push for the drinking age to be lowered for service personnel. The Vietnam conflict was different because of the draft and the fact that it was very possible to be pushed into the War. In today’s world… the only people that go to war are those people who sign up for it. Lower the drinking age for them. I agree that the ordinance is stupid, but using the Vietnam war as an argument isnt going to help the cause any. Just saying.

  4. If you are under 21 and drinking somewhere this ordinance is protecting you!  There are reasons why the drinking age is 21 and its because 18 year olds are still not mature enough to make responsible decisions considering how much, how often, and what they do after they drink.  (Of course, drinking deteriorates anyone’s judgement no matter what their age).

    This ordinance and the drinking age are completely unrelated as well.  Even if the state lowered the drinking age to 18, this law would still be in effect for those under the new drinking age.  Then we’d have to listen to the 16 and 17 year olds tell us they are old enough to drink too because they are old enough to drive a car!

    Sure, there are some 18 – 20 year olds who are responsible enough to drink. But what this ordinance does is protect those who are not, and attend a party where they are allowed to drink as much as they want and then maybe drive home, or perhaps wonder alone down by the river and fall in like Dan Zamlen.

    This ordinance makes the host second guess their irresponsibility of allowing illegal activities to happen under their watch.  Why we had to even make this a special ordinance is anyone’s guess.  If you participate in illegal activities you are an accomplice, plain and simple.

  5. Totally agree with you Rob. If it were as simple as that, drinking would be legal for 18 year olds, and so would heroin. I don’t think the reason it’s set at 21 is because 18 year olds can’t handle “a beer or two” , it probably has more to do with drinking 10 shots of tequila and falling off a roof…

  6. Isaac Broberg – Not only do I find your comments unfounded and unrealistic. I also find your comments rude, disrespectful and unecessary in this forum, I moreover find them insulting as a very close friend to Dan Zamlen. Your argument for this ordinance is not even sound, but more importantly your statements regarding the disappearance of Dan Zamlen are unfactual and frankly need to be corrected. (Personally I find the fact that you are connecting your argument to my good friends disappearance very insulting to me and Dan’s memory, however I will make the attempt to correct your gross misunderstandings of this extremely unfortunate circumstance.) In my entire life I have never met someone more responsible then Dan Zamlen. Everyone knows there limits. Dan did not have a ton to drink that night. He simply went outside for some fresh air and found himself down by the river. He was coherent when talking to friends on the phone, he knew where he was and what he was doing. What happened next remains a mystery, but one thing remains for certain: Dan did NOT fall into the river. I invite you, Isaac, to go down to the river and take a look. There is not one point in the vicinity in which he went missing that one could possibly fall into the river. It is virtually impossible. If one wanted to throw themselves into the river, they would roll, stop and have to do it three or four more times to even reach the bank of the river. There was not one branch broken, not one fallen leaf disturbed, and not one footprint leading down to the river in the snow. There is not one way in which anyone could even fathom Dan would have fallen into the river. It is a ridiculous notion. Therefore, to respond to your ridiculous accusations, I believe they should be removed from this site because they are extremely offensive to Dan’s memory and to his close friends and the countless volunteers that spent a full month and half searching for him and continue to mourn his passing and search for answers in his mysterious disappearance that ended in the most unfortunate way possible.

  7. In Isaac’s defense, 
     He’s only saying what all the “officials” told everyone happened. But Greg, let’s stay on topic…

  8. Tony, Isaac brought up the issue of Dan’s disappearance so I felt that it was not only my prerogative to respond but my obligation. Comments are about your opinons and your beliefs, which I articulated in my earlier posting. I know what the “officials” have told everyone and I can tell you that I was deeply involved in the search efforts and it is my belief that this tragedy was not a mere accident that was a result of alcoholic consumption and I wanted to say that. I feel that by involvment in the search offers a different perspective on this particular issue which Isaac brought up and I felt the need to discuss it.

  9. I just feel like this isn’t really the right place. I don’t know enough about the whole thing to really say anything other than i’d probably agree with you, but this just isnt really the place we should be discussing it. But i’ll leave that decision up to the mods…

  10. I completely agree… definitely not the place to be discussing it. Exactly the point I was making with my posts. I believe it shouldnt have been brought up in the first place, it has nothing to do with the topic at hand. But, Tony, Isaac chose to raise the issue and personally I could not let it go unanswered. However when it comes down to it, we agree… This topic should never have been introduced into this forum, especially in the way it was. 

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