Social Host Law – What are your responsibilities?

As the nice weather approaches and we prepare for summer cookouts, graduations parties and other exciting events, we want to remind you of the Cortland County Social Host Law.  This law makes it illegal to provide a place for under age youth to consume alcohol, regardless of who provides the alcohol. You’re responsible if you host, permit, or allow a gathering where minors consumer alcohol.

The goal of this law is to change the culture which allows underage drinking to take place by holding adults responsible for what happens on their premises. Under existing New York State law, minors (persons under the age of 21) are prohibited from possessing alcohol. Any adult who serves alcohol to minors can be charged.

Social Host serves as another tool for law enforcement to prevent underage drinking in Cortland County. In the past, if minors would not give the name of the adult who supplied them with alcohol, the police had no grounds for action. The Social Host Law closed that loophole by allowing police to charge the host for allowing minors to consume alcohol on the premises.

Make it clear to your youth that you won’t be the “host” of that party. For more information on how to talk to your teen about alcohol, call Cortland Prevention at 756-8970.

Looking for fun, alcohol free ideas for your graduation party?

Check out and search for “high school graduation party ideas” to find a wealth of great ideas and photos to inspire you!

Here are a few other sites that have great ideas too….

31 Grad Party Ideas You’ll Want to Steal

High School Graduation Party Planner Ideas

10 Awesome Graduation Party Ideas