GENESEO – Geneseo Police used the newly passed Chapter 88 of Village of Geneseo Code law, affectionately known as the ‘Social Host Law,’ to enforce underage drinking violations at house parties in the Village on Halloween.
According to a press release from Geneseo Police Chief Eric Osganian, Paul Michael, 21, of Houppouge, NY and Jack Eisenberg, 20, of Pleasantville, NY were among the first to be arrested on Oct. 31 for Unlawful Dealing with a Child, an A misdemeanor, and charged with a violation under the Social Host Law.
“We felt comfortable saying that we are able to prove that these subjects were in control of a party in which underage people were being served alcohol,” said Chief Osganian.
Michael was arrested at 11 Orchard Street and Eisenberg at 86 Court Street for allegedly being in control of house parties.
In both cases, undercover police officers and a person under age 21 entered the parties, and the underage person was allegedly served beer. Both Michael and Eisenberg will appear in Geneseo Village Court to answer the charges.
One other subject under age 19 was arrested for misdemeanor Unlawfully Dealing with a Child. Since they are entitled to Youthful Offender Status in court, the GeneseeSun.com is witholding their identity.
Social Host, Chapter 88 of Village of Geneseo Code, available online here, was passed by the Village of Geneseo Board of Trustees after a heated public hearing between the Village Board and students on April 20, 2015. It was designed to discourage serving drugs or alcohol illegally to underage people under age 21 by establishing penalties for those found to be responsible for the property on which the prohibited activity occurs.
Penalties to the social host of a party are “any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation and shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine of $250, or imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 days, or a combination of such fine and imprisonment as shall be ordered by the court. Each and every subsequent occurrence shall constitute a violation punishable by a fine of $500 or imprisonment of 15 days. In addition, for each offense, successful completion of a court-approved alcohol and drug awareness program is required.
Chief Osganian said that the numbers of house parties in the Village have increased dramatically in the past four months, and first responders are addressing extremely high numbers of drinking and party related medical emergencies.
“Possibly because the IB, Vital, and Kelly’s are currently closed, parties have flared back up to the numbers of years ago,” said Chief Osganian. “The Fire Department is getting slammed with ambulance calls on party weekends. On Halloween they had mutual aid ambulances from Livonia and Avon, there were so many calls.”