Social Host Ordinance

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Tempe is the first city in the East Valley to pass the Social Host Ordinance. The revised ordinance, Article 3 Nuisance Parties And Unlawful Gatherings, went into effect February 2012. The ordinance was championed by the Tempe Coalition, a partnership between the City of Tempe and Tempe Community Council, which helps youth reach their full potential by reducing underage drinking and drug use within our city.

Under the ordinance, anyone providing alcohol to a person younger than 21 can be held responsible. If the host providing the alcohol to underage youth is younger than 18, the responsible party also includes the juvenile’s parents or guardians.

Consequences for a Social Host violation include:

• A police service fee of $250 upon first response, though offenders may be eligible for a substance use education class at a lesser cost in lieu of the first-time police service fee assessment.
• On the second offense, a $1,000 police service fee will be charged.
• Any further offenses will result in a $1,500 police service fee.

Information provided by the Arizona Youth Survey and data gathered from local youth focus groups indicates that most young Tempe teens obtain alcohol from their home or from the home of a friend. In order to address this, the Tempe Coalition determined that holding adults responsible will greatly reduce this dangerous trend.