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Parents can now be charged in Otter Tail County for letting minors drink at their homes

It is now unlawful in Otter Tail County to provide a place for teen drinking to occur, regardless of who provides the alcohol.

Under a new ordinance adopted by the county Board of Commissioners May 1, adults who allow underage drinking at their homes may be held criminally responsible.

Parents cannot be charged for allowing their own children to consume alcohol in their presence at their own home. But allowing someone else's child to do so would be a violation of the ordinance.

The ordinance, called the Social Host Ordinance, makes it illegal for adults to provide any environment where underage drinking takes place. It applies when the adult knows or reasonably should know that an underage person will be drinking.

The board adopted the ordinance in an effort to discourage underage possession and consumption of alcohol.