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Underage drinking party broken up at rural Clear Lake address

Shortly before midnight on Saturday Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Department received a call about an underage drinking party.

Sheriff’s deputies with the assistance of the Iowa State Patrol went to 22219 Indigo Avenue northeast of Clear Lake and found several minors drinking. All minors at the residence where asked to take breathalyzer tests and those that were drinking were cited for either possession of alcohol or public consumption.

Toan Minh Nguyen, age 19, of Mason City was arrested and transported to Cerro Gordo County jail on one count of interference with official acts, and minor consumption of alcohol.

The two occupants of the residence were charged with violating social host ordinance number 51.

Cerro Gordo County Social Host Ordnance number 51 was passed and approved on October 27th, 2009 and applies throughout Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, including municipalities that have not enacted a municipal ordinance dealing with similar subject matter.

Part of the ordinance reads as follows:

“Social host” means any person who aids, allows, entertains, organizes, supervises, controls or permits an event, gathering, or party. This includes, but is not limited to: (1) the person(s) who owns, rents, leases, or otherwise has control of the premises where the event, gathering, or party takes place; (2) the person(s) in charge of the premises; or (3) the person(s) responsible for organizing the event, gathering, or party.

“It is the duty of the social host of an event, gathering, or party to take all reasonable steps to prevent alcoholic beverages from being possessed or consumed by underage persons on the premises. Reasonable steps include, but are not limited to:
a. Controlling underage persons’ access to alcoholic beverages,
b. Controlling the quantity of alcoholic beverages,
c. Verifying the age of persons being served, in the possession of, or consuming alcoholic beverages at the event, gathering, or party by inspecting drivers’ licenses or other government-issued identification cards,
d. Supervising the activities of underage persons at the party, and
e. Notifying law enforcement of underage possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages, and allowing law enforcement to enter the premises for the purpose of stopping the possession or consumption by underage persons.”

“a. It is unlawful for any social host of an event, gathering, or party on the social host’s premises to knowingly permit or allow underage persons to consume alcoholic beverages, or knowingly permit or allow underage persons to possess alcoholic beverages on the premises, whether or not the social host is present on the premises.”

“a. Violations of Section 3(a) are declared to be county infractions, punishable by civil penalty. A seven hundred and fifty dollar ($750.00) civil penalty shall be imposed for a social host’s first offense. A one thousand dollar ($1,000.00) civil penalty shall be imposed for a social host’s second or subsequent offense. The County may also seek reimbursement for enforcement services provided by emergency responders related to the event, gathering, or party.”

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