Novato’s Social Host Accountability Ordinance: Basic Facts and Information

Read below to learn more about the law that holds people accountable for allowing teens to drink at gatherings or parties.

Adults are accountable when they provide alcohol to minors or allow underage house parties on their property where alcohol is being consumed.  Novato?s Social Host Accountability City Ordinance, introduced in 1992, allows law enforcement officials to issue misdemeanor citations, with a cost of up to $1000, to the host of a party where youth are in possession and consuming alcohol.  If the host is a minor (under 18), both the host and his or her guardians may be responsible for fines.  In addition to misdemeanor fees, the underage host and/or parent may be charged for police service costs, which can run up to $2000.  Underage drinkers also face consequences if caught in possession of and consuming alcohol.  The police will contact parents who will have to pick up their child at the party site.  An inebriated teen may even be sent to jail.  In short: you host, you lose.—Lieutenant Jennifer Welch, Novato Police Department



  • Talk to your kids about the negative consequences of underage drinking, and go over the basic information of the Social Host Law.
  • NEVER provide your underage kids with alcohol, and never let your child host a party on your property in which underage kids are consuming alcohol.
  • If you suspect a house party or gathering in which underage kids are drinking, notify your local police department.