Don't be a party to underage drinking

Avoid problems with the law...

The City of San Marcos has approved a Social Host Ordinance (No. 2006-1260) to protect youth from the many problems associated with drinking alcohol.

Anyone hosting a party is required to:
1)   Verify the age of guests
2)   Control access to those under  21
3)   Control the quantity of alcohol consumed at the gathering
4)   Supervise minors

Anyone allowing minors (under 21) to drink alcohol will be held accountable and may be:
1)   Cited/arrested
2)   Fined up to $1000
3)   Serve up to six months in jail
4)   Billed for police services

YOU can be a part of the solution!
Report underage drinking and parties.

Call (760) 736-2140 24 hours/day.

Help protect youth!  It's free!  It's anonymous!

North Inland Community Prevention Program. For more information, call (858) 391-9303 or visit us on the web at
NICPP is a program of Mental Health Systems, Inc. Funds provided by County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency, Alcohol and Drug Services.

Why is underage drinking a problem?

  • Underage drinking is STILL the leading factor in death for youth ages 14-25.
  • Alcohol use by youth poses health risks for bodies and minds that are still maturing; it clouds judgment and interferes with developing social skills and academic achievement.
  • Persons reporting alcohol use before age 15 were more than 5 times as likely to report alcohol dependence than persons who first used alcohol at age 21 or older.
  • Many youth report they drink specifically to get drunk which puts them at high-risk for serious problems: traffic crashes, homicide, accidental injury, suicide, violent crime, sexual assault, alcohol poisoning, neighborhood vandalism, drowning, and unplanned sex.

Isn't underage drinking already illegal?

Yes, State law prohibits minors under age 21 from purchasing, possessing or consuming alcohol. It also prohibits adults from furnishing alcohol to minors.  But many youth obtain alcohol through social sources such as older friends, siblings, parents and strangers.  The Social Host Ordinance helps prevent underage drinking parties, but holds the hosts of such parties accountable.  It sets clear guidelines to protect party hosts from civil and criminal liability.

What is a "social host"?

A "social host" is anyone who permits a party where one or more minors consume alcoholic beverages. A "party, gathering or event" means a group of persons assembled for a social occasion or activity at a private residence or private premises.

Are there any exceptions?

Yes, this law does not apply to parents supervising their own children (during private meals, on special occasions and/or religious ceremonies, for example).