Thursday, December 18, 2003

Campbell County joins list of areas enacting 'keg law'

By Colleen Schmidt
Enquirer contributor

NEWPORT - Adults in Campbell County now will have to answer to police if minors are caught drinking on their property.

Campbell County Fiscal Court members unanimously voted Wednesday to adopt a countywide "keg law" that makes it illegal for adults to provide alcohol to underage children.

"I hope the effect would be that it would act as a deterrent for parents and others from throwing parties where minors are permitted to consume alcohol on their property," Campbell County Attorney Justin Verst said.

Violators will be charged with a misdemeanor. If convicted, they could be punished with a fine of up to $250 and/or a jail sentence of up to 90 days. Repeat offenders will face stiffer penalties: fines of up to $500 and/or a jail sentence of up to one year.

To reduce the risk of charges, adults who become aware of underage drinking on their property can end the party and take control of the situation or contact authorities within an hour of the discovery.

Many of Campbell County's 15 cities already have adopted similar laws. These cities include Alexandria, Bellevue, Fort Thomas, Highland Heights, Newport and Wilder.

Verst proposed the law in September because of complaints he had received from parents whose children were drinking at parties in areas not covered by keg laws.

The law will be enforced in every city and in unincorporated areas in the county.

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