Scroll down for a link to the committee currently up for review of this bill so you can contact them to ask for their vote in favor of the bill.
Why do we need this Social Host bill?
Right here in Tennessee, kids are dying from underage alcohol consumption. Lucas Davis, a 16-year-old Brentwood High School football player, died of alcohol poisoning on October 7, 2018, after, what appeared to be, an overnight party with friends in a field behind a home in Brentwood. Later, charges were brought against an adult in connection with his death. Casey Shacklett was charged with 16 counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Another teen, Will Caver, a graduate of Montgomery Bell Academy, drowned in Charlotte during an overnight party with friends on a property there on August 2, 2019. Two adults were charged in connection with that case, for unlawfully purchasing alcohol for a minor and allowing underage adults to consume alcoholic beverages,
Adults who act as Social Hosts, allowing those under 21 to drink, should be held more accountable. They are putting our kids at risk and, as has been made clear in recent months, the danger in teen drinking is very real. Teen alcohol use kills 4,300 people each year. Approximately 68% of these deaths are due to incidents other than traffic related fatalities, such as alcohol poisoning, falls, drowning, and suicide. In addition, teens who engage in underage drinking and drug use are at a higher risk for other dangers such as date rape and acts of violence.
Under present law, it is a Class A misdemeanor for an owner, occupant, or other person having a right to exclusive use of property to knowingly allow an “underage adult” (a person older than 18 but younger than 21) to consume alcohol on the property. This bill broadens the application of the Class A misdemeanor to “minors,” here meaning any person under age 21.
This bill also sets a mandatory $1,000 fine for convictions related to providing alcohol to minors.
What can I do to help the Social Host bill become a law?
But for this bill to become law, we will need your support! On the road to becoming a law, there are several committees through which the bill must pass before it is even eligible to go before the full House and/or Senate to be voted into law. Please bookmark this page and follow us on our @MADDTennessee Facebook page for updates about the progress of the bill and who we need you to contact to let your voice be heard. YOU can help make this law a reality by emailing committee members and your own legislators telling them that you want them to vote in favor of this bill! Keep reading for instructions on who to contact, when, and even ideas of what to say.
Where is this bill currently in the process?
MADD was working to get the Social Host bill passed in 2020 when Covid-19 halted all non-pandemic related legislation progress. Help us ensure it passes in 2021! Below this road map, which shows where we are in the process, you’ll find a link to the committee currently up for review of the bill.
Who do I contact to ask them to vote in favor of this bill and when?
Under “Committee Member Links” below you can see which committee is currently reviewing the bill. Look for our note that says “PLEASE EMAIL THIS COMMITTEE NOW.” Then click the link to get the list of committee members and email each member to ask for their support.
You can also click HERE and enter your address to identify the lawmakers assigned to the district where you live. They are charged with voting in a way that represents YOU, a constituent of their district. Please be sure to also contact each of them also and ask them to support this bill!
Committee Member Links
House Finance, Ways, and Means Subcommittee –Placed behind the budget – 3/24. Review date TBD. PLEASE EMAIL THIS COMMITTEE NOW.
What should I say when asking legislators to vote in favor of this bill?
Not sure what to say exactly? We have a sample of text below that you can copy and paste to use in your email if you’d like. Use it as it is, or adjust the wording as needed to personalize it and let the legislator know why this bill means something to you, and why you’d like to see it become law in Tennessee. Just be sure you include bill number, HB1558 (Zachary)/ SB1605 (Briggs), in your email.
Sample Email Text
Dear Sir or Madame,
I am writing to ask you to support HB0150 (Zachary)/ SB0157 (Briggs) regarding Social Host law. I believe adults who act as Social Hosts by allowing our kids who are under 21 to drink should be held more accountable. I am outraged to hear that Tennessee teens have died in recent months in incidents connected to adults who allowed teens to drink on their property. This is a serious crime with serious consequences. I believe our laws should be changed to reflect this, in hopes of deterring further incidents that put our kids at risk! I hope I can count on your vote in favor of passing this legislation so that it becomes law.