Los Gatos Passes Teen Drinking Ordinance in Wake of ‘Party Mom’ Scandal

New Cupertino law punishes parents for underage drinking at house partiesCupertino parents could face fines after sheriff's deputies break up parties at their homes where minors are using alcohol and drugs.

The Los Gatos Town Council has passed a teen drinking ordinance that will hold adults accountable for underage drinking and drug use in the wake of the high-profile case of a local mother accused of hosting alcohol-fueled sex parties for minors at her home.

Under the new rules, adults may be fined for hosting events where alcohol and drugs are “served to, consumed by, or in the presence of minors,” regardless of whether the adult is present or not. Fines will start at $1,500 for first time offenders and will increase to $3,000 for subsequent offenders.

The initial proposal, presented by town attorney Robert Shultz, had much lower fines, but the youth commission wanted to increase them to make them more deterring. Some councilmembers and members of the public do not think the fine is high enough—especially considering it is not a significant amount for many in Los Gatos.

The town worked with the Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District, Youth Commission, and Police Department on the ordinance. It passed unanimously and will take effect in mid-May.

The ordinance comes several months after the arrest of Shannon O’Connor, who was nicknamed “Party Mom” for allegedly hosting what prosecutors called “disturbing” parties for her freshman son and his friends. O’Connor has yet to enter a plea and has not yet been convicted.

Read more about the case here.

To view the ordinance, click here.