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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

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For Immediate Release: March 10, 2009

Sen. Debbe Leftwich
Sen. Debbe Leftwich

Social Host Legislation Heads to House

The House of Representatives is the next stop for a measure to help clamp down on underage drinking. On Monday, the full Senate approved an amendment by Sen. Debbe Leftwich which adds graduated penalties to the Oklahoma's social host law.

The current statute only holds adults accountable if a minor is injured or dies. Similar legislation was approved by the Senate in 2008, but was not heard in the House. Senator Leftwich thanked members on both sides of the aisle for supporting her proposal.

"This is an issue that poses a threat to virtually all Oklahoma teens, so I want to thank my fellow members on both sides of the aisle for supporting this amendment, especially Senator Clark Jolley who allowed me to attach this amendment to his own legislation, Senate Bill 1146," said Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City.

Leftwich's amendment adds 3.2 beer to the current social host law, along with graduated penalties for adults who enable minors to drink alcohol. The first offense would be a misdemeanor with a $500 fine and/or up to one year in county jail. A second offense would be a misdemeanor with a $2,500 fine and/or up to one year in county jail. A third or subsequent offense would be a felony with a $5,000 fine and/or five years in prison.

"More than 52 communities across the state have passed some type of social host ordinances, but many areas, including rural communities and counties, are not covered," Leftwich said. "This gives us a uniform way of addressing underage drinking and irresponsible adults."

For more information contact:
Sen. Leftwich's Office: 405-521-5557

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