[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Rensselaer as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Open Containers
Article II Social Hosts
[Adopted 7-15-1970 by L.L. No. 1-1970]
[Added 8-15-1990 by L.L. No. 4-1990]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- OPEN CONTAINER
- Any open, unsealed, resealed or partially filled container, can or bottle containing an alcoholic beverage.
No person shall have in his possession any open bottle or container containing liquor, beer, wine or other alcoholic beverage while such person is on any public highway, public street, public sidewalk, public parking area, public playground or in any conveyance, vehicle or public place, except those premises duly licensed for sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages on the premises.
Any open bottle or open container in or on any conveyance or vehicle shall be presumptive evidence that the same is in possession of all occupants thereof, in violation hereof.
[Amended 8-15-1990 by L.L. No. 4-1990]
A violation of this article shall constitute a violation punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 or by imprisonment in the Rensselaer County Jail for 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
The City of Rensselaer does not have an ordinance to address adult responsibility for the consumption of alcohol by minors in their home or on their property.
Underage alcohol use is the number one lethal drug in New York State.
Present New York Law only covers those who "serve" or "provide" alcohol, not those who allow it to be served or consumed on their premises to/by underage persons.
With appropriate legal recourse, our communities can decrease underage drinking.
The proposed ordinance reads:
"It is the purpose of this section to protect the public interest, welfare, health and safety within the City of Rensselaer by prohibiting the service to and consumption of alcoholic beverages and drugs by persons under the age of 21 at private premises located in the City. The City Council finds that the occurrence of social gatherings at private premises where alcoholic beverages or drugs are served to or consumed by persons under the age of 21 is harmful to such persons themselves and a threat to public welfare, health and safety. The City Council finds further that persons under the age of 21 often obtain alcoholic beverages or drugs at such gatherings and that persons who are in control of such premises know or have reason to know of such service and/or consumption and will be more likely to ensure that alcoholic beverages and drugs are neither served to nor consumed by persons under the age of 21 at these gatherings."
This article will hold those adults (those over the age of 16) criminally responsible for underage alcohol or drug use on their premises.
This article gives parents a tool to support their decision not to allow youth to consume alcohol on their property.
This article holds those age 16 and over responsible for providing a place where someone else's child can consume alcohol.
This article supports youth making good decisions.
The statistics from other communities with a similar ordinance show that underage drinking has decreased significantly.
The Common Council of the City of Rensselaer, having conducted a public hearing on the adoption to support a Community Social Host Ordinance on August 1, 2007, adopts a Community Social Host Ordinance.