Fond du Lac County officials react to court reversal of underage drinking host ordinance

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FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WBAY) – With an appellate court ruling regarding the hosting of underage drinking parties, safety becomes more of a concern for the Fond Du Lac County’s Sheriff’s Department.

Chief Deputy Mark Strand believes it puts them in a tough spot.

“The ones who [are] the most culpable can’t be held responsible. Lets put it that way,” said Strand.

But while Fond du Lac County won’t be giving out citations for parents who host underage drinkers, they won’t change their response to those gatherings.

“Law enforcement response in Fond Du Lac County will still be similar because they’re still going to be looking for underage individuals that could be at these types of parties, still looking to issue citations for underage drinking,” said Fond Du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney.

The issue was already on the radar for lawmakers.

Republican Assemblyman Andre Jacque (R-De Pere) said he was worried local governments were enacting social host ordinances that would become unlawful.

“The legal experts in this area, particularly the legislature, gave full warning that this was something to expect as soon as somebody challenged the law, and it wasn’t going to take until somebody did,” said Jacque.

Jacque has been working on legislature since 2011 so ordinances like the one in Fond du Lac County won’t be ruled unlawful.

Until that passes, Fond du Lac County Sheriff Department has a message.

“Stress to the kids and sons and daughters if you wind up getting in a situation, give us a call. We’ll come and get you. No questions asked,” said Brand.