A Des Moines suburb is believed to be the first city in Iowa to adopt an ordinance that would fine parents or other hosts of underage drinking parties. The West Des Moines City Council adopted an ordinance Monday night that will let police decide if a person should be fined for hosting a party where underage people drink alcohol.
The measure is designed to fill a loophole in state law and would require some type of proof that the individual knew or should have known that underage persons were drinking. West Des Moines city leaders say the ordinance is modeled after similar laws in Minnesota and California. Violators of the so-called “social host” ordinance could face a fine of $500.