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City may beef up keg party law
Hosting a keg party may soon become a much dicier proposition in Lawrence.
Lawrence city commissioners at their meeting tonight will consider beefing up a city ordinance that would allow local law enforcement to more easily charge hosts of keg parties with illegally serving underage drinkers.
Under current state law, to charge the host of a party with illegally serving a minor, local law enforcement must prove that the minor was an invited guest of the host. Proving that can be tricky.
A new ordinance, though, might help. City commissioners are being told they have the legal authority to create a local social hosting law that is tougher than the statewide law. Members of the city’s legal services staff have crafted an ordinance that would require the host to prove that any minor at the party was not an invited guest. In other words, the host would need to show some evidence that the minor was trespassing.
The ordinance also would require the host to take reasonable steps — such as checking a picture ID — if there’s a suspicion that a minor is trying to drink at a party.
The change in law has been lobbied for by the New Tradition Coalition, a local group that is working to reduce underage drinking in the community.
Commissioners meet at 6:35 p.m. at City Hall.