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Special Ceremony Marks Signing of Cody’s Law
Wed, 08 Jun 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY (June 8, 2011) – A ceremonial signing held today highlights a new law that will provide stronger penalties for social hosts who knowingly and willingly permit those under 21 years of age to consume alcohol during social events taking place on their premises.

House Bill 1211, by state Rep. Dan Kirby and state Sen. Dan Newberry, will make a first violation of Oklahoma’s social host law result in a misdemeanor and fine of up to $500. A second violation will result in a fine of up to $1,000. Further violations will result in a fine of up to $2,500 or incarceration for up to five years. If a violation results in bodily injury or death, a social host will face a fine of between $2,500 and $5,000 and up to five years of incarceration.

The legislation will also allow cities to enforce current laws regarding low-point beer sales in the same way they currently enforce liquor laws.

“I was proud to author this legislation, which means so much to the parents who have lost a child in a social host situation,” said Kirby, R-Tulsa. “Unfortunately, there are adults who do not seem to realize the dangers in providing alcohol to children or even young adults. Cody, who the bill is named for, died from an alcohol and drug overdose in an alleged social host situation.”

At the time of Cody’s death, there was no social host law in Oklahoma. Since then, his mother, Tulsa resident Sareva Greenhaw, has been fighting to combat social hosting.

“I cannot imagine losing one of my children and my heart goes out to Sareva Greenhaw and other parents that have lost a child,” said Newberry, R-Tulsa. “I was especially happy to see the provision that increases the penalties for social hosting in situations resulting in a death or injury.”

State Rep. Leslie Osborn also collaborated on the legislation. She mentioned the story of Kaitlyn Mounce, who was killed by a 16-year-old drunk driver given alcohol by parents at a parent-hosted party for young kids.

“The social hosts were prosecuted and did receive jail time, but it was a short sentence when you consider that their actions resulted in a death,” said Osborn, R-Tuttle. “I hope that this new law will deter parents from providing alcohol to minors and increase the safety of our communities.”

Both chambers of the Legislature passed House Bill 1211 unanimously. The legislation will take effect Nov. 1, 2011.