Underage drinking is a problem throughout not only the Hudson Valley, but the country as well, and today Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus, took steps to deter underage drinking in Orange County.

The County Executive was joined by various dignitaries including District Attorney David Hoovler and Sheriff Carl E. DuBois, plus Monroe-Woodbury Superintendent of Schools Elsie Rodriguez, Monroe-Woodbury High School principal David Bernsley, Youth Bureau Director Rachel Wilson and acting Town of Monroe Supervisor Tony Cardone as he signed legislation to enact the Social Host Law.

Under this new law, it will be illegal for homeowners, or any host 18 years or older, to knowingly allow underage drinking at their home or a party, or to not take action to stop underage drinking once they find out about it.

For the first offense, it will be considered a violation and carry a fine of $500. The Court will also order the completion of an alcohol awareness program and/or an appropriate amount of community service time not to exceed 30 hours. If found guilty a second time, it will constitute an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $1,000 and a jail term, not to exceed one year; or both a fine and imprisonment.

The law will go into effect after it is filed with the New York State Department of State.