Social Host (Minor Alcohol Offenses) Ordinance

Underage Drinking in Napa County

Social Host Ordinances are an effective tool in helping to reduce the problem of underage drinking. Napa County youth report high levels of underage drinking and youth access to alcohol is a key factor contributing to the problem. The problem of underage drinking in Napa County is illustrated by the statistics below.

  • 34% of Napa County 11th graders report most students at their school obtain alcohol at parties. [1]
  • 33% of Napa County 11th graders say it is “very easy” and 20% say “fairly easy” for students in their grade to get access to alcohol. [1]
  • 6% of Napa County 11th graders report “binge drinking” within the past month. 19% of Napa County’s 11th graders have “binged” (been drunk or sick after drinking). [1]

These statistics confirm that our community must come together to prevent and treat underage drinking.

Social Host Accountability Ordinance

The Napa County Social Host Accountability Ordinance is a local policy that holds a host responsible for conducting or allowing loud or unruly gatherings where alcohol, controlled substances, intoxicating substances, cannabis and/or cannabis products are consumed by, served to, or in the possession of minors. Anyone 18 years of age or older who hosts such a gathering is subject to a civil violation and fine. If the host of such a gathering is 17 years old or younger, the parents of that minor will be held jointly responsible with their minor and subject to a fine, even if they were not present or aware of the gathering. The goal of this ordinance is to reduce underage drinking and drug use. 

Civil Violations and Fines

Law enforcement citations, fines and fees in Napa County can reach up to $1,000 for hosts (of any age) who allow gatherings where underage drinking occurs. Fines for the Social Host Accountability Ordinance:

  • First violation: $550
  • Second violation: $750
  • Third or subsequent violation: $1,000

*Civil cost recovery fees pursuant to section 9.12.080 may be imposed.


[1] 2021-2022 Napa County Report, California Healthy Kids Survey, 2022.