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Brown County Board Rejects Social Host Ordinance

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NEW ULM, Minn. -

To help combat underage drinking, more than 1000 Minnesotacities and one-fourth of the state's counties have adopted a social hostordinance, in Brown County, it didn't even make it to a vote.

Commissioner Scott Windschitl said, "I was surprised bythe ordinance being rejected."

The ordinance brought dozens of people to the meeting andspurred more than 30 minutes of debate, but in the end wasn't even voted on.

At the public hearing, Windschitl made a motion to adopt theordinance, but no board members seconded it, effectively killing the law.

Windschitl said, "I think that there were a lot ofquestions and concerns and I'm not sure everybody at the public Hearing fullyunderstood the ordinance."

Windschitl said a lot of rural residents attended the meetingand had concerns that if there was a party on their property, like an abandonbuilding or gravel pit, even if they didn't know about, they could get introuble.

Windschitl said, "And that's not the case."

He said you have to either host the party, or knowinglyallowed it to happen.

Brown County Chief Deputy Jason Seidl said, "If your notknowing about it then therefore you would not be able to be charged."

The cities in Brown County have already passed social hostordinances, and those in support of it say the county is the logical next step.

Brown County United Way Executive Director, and board memberof the Brown County Substance Abuse Coalition Donna Lambrech said, "Wedon't want to see the cities supporting it then these parties being pushed outto the country and really by having a county wide ordinance it creates auniform way for the police and sheriffs office to enforce this."

Seidl said law enforcement hope more education will garnermore support for the law in the future, and help discourage underage drinking.

Seidl said, "Not giving then one more place to drinkmaybe they won't drink, hopefully not get in an accident either hurt themselvesor hurt others."