San Jose Plan Would Hold Parents Accountable

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Teens and their parents are invited to weigh in on a proposed  social host ordinance and on youth drinking-and-driving at a forum in San Jose tonight.

    The idea of having a social host ordinance, which Councilwoman  Nancy Pyle brought up with the City Council's Rules and Open Government Committee in November, would hold adults who enable underage drinking parties responsible.

    The idea is still in its early stages and no ordinance has been drafted yet.

    Laura Cowan, a spokeswoman for Pyle, said Pyle is recommending that the ordinance include a provision that would levy fines to recover the  cost of law enforcement and emergency services for such parties.

    The push for a social host ordinance was spurred by the deaths of Roshan Rahbari, an 18-year-old 2010 Leland High School graduate, in September 2010, and Jordan West, a 17-year-old Santa Teresa High School student, in  November 2010. Both were killed in suspected DUI crashes in San Jose.

    Pyle will co-host tonight's forum with Voices United, a nonprofit focused on youth drinking issues, and the District 10 Youth Advisory Council, comprised of 20 middle and high school students.

    The first half of the forum will be a discussion on having a social host ordinance in San Jose, Cowan said.

    "We're talking about the overall idea of having the ordinance, what benefits it could have," she said. "Then we'll get people to talk about  specifics."

    The second half of the forum will be led by the Youth Advisory  Council and will focus on drinking and driving.

    "They're going to talk about why it happens, what the problems  are, why kids feel that they are exempt from the consequences," Cowan said.

    The forum will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Almaden Community Center, located at 6445 Camden Ave.