New Law Gives FDL County A Second Crack At Social Hosting Ordinances

A new state law gives Fond du Lac County and others around the state a second chance at creating social hosting ordinances to fine those who host underage drinking parties. The Fond du Lac County version was struck down by the 2nd District Court of Appeals in October of last year, but Governor Walker last Friday signed a bill into law that closes the loopholes that allowed the ordinance to be struck down. Ellen Sorensen of Drug Free Communities of Fond du Lac County says there were seven communities in the County including the County itself that had social hosting ordinances that will have to be reworked. The Court of Appeals didn’t agree with the County’s definition of premise and also felt the County’s fines for violation of the ordinance were too punitive. The new law calls for fines up to $500 while the County’s old version called for fines up to $1,400. The Appeals Court felt the definition of premise was only applicable to places with a liquor license. The new law also includes private residences, hotels and motels, bed and breakfasts, cabins, cottages and campgrounds in its definition of premises.