ORDINANCE NO. 2009-31.
AN ORDINANCE OF THE COUNTY OF CROSS, ARKANSAS TO PROHIBIT
THE HOSTING OR PERMITTING GATHERINGS WHERE MINORS CONSUME
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES; PROVIDING FOR THE IMPOSITION OF
INCARCERATION, FINES AND COSTS AGAINST THE PERSON OR PERSONS
HAVING CONTROL OF THE PREMISES; PROVIDING FOR REPEAL OF
ORDINANCES INCONSISTENT HEREWITH; ALLOWING FOR SEVERABILITY.
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE QUORUM COURT OF THE CROSS COUNTY,
Allowing Gatherings Where Minors are Consuming Alcoholic Beverages.
(A) Definitions: For the purposes of this section, the following definitions shall
have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly
indicates a different meaning:
"ALCOHOL" means ethyl alcohol, hydrated oxide of ethyl, or spirits of wine, from
whatever source, or by whatever process produced.
"ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES" include alcohol, spirits, liquor, wine, beer, and every liquid
or solid containing alcohol, spirits, wine or beer, and which contains one-half of one (1)
percent or more alcohol by volume and which is fit for beverage purposes either alone or
when diluted, mixed or combined with other substances. This term includes intoxicating
beverages and low point beer as defined herein.
"CODE" means the compilation of Ordinances as amended and provided in the Code of
the County of Cross, Arkansas.
"GATHERING" is a party, gathering or event, where a group of three or more minors
have assembled or are assembling for a social occasion or social activity.
"INTOXICATING BEVERAGE" including beverages containing more than three and
two-tenths percent (3.2%) alcohol by weight.
"LEGAL GUARDIAN" means (1) a person who, by court order, is the guardian of the
person of a minor; or (2) a public or private agency with whom a minor has been placed
by the court.
"LOW POINT BEER" means and includes beverages containing more than one-half of
one percent (1/2 of 1%) alcohol by volume, and not more than three and two thirds
(3.2%) alcohol by weight, including but not limited to beer or cereal malt beverages
obtained by the alcoholic fermentation of an infusion of barley or other grain, malt or
"MINOR" means any person under twenty-one (21) years of age.
"JUVENILE" means any person under 18 years of age except where otherwise specified
under the section. The term "JUVENILE" is synonymous with the term "MINOR" as
provided in the section.
"PARENT" means a person who is a natural parent, adoptive parent, foster parent, or
stepparent of another person.
"PREMISES" means any residence or other private property, place, or premises,
including any commercial or business premises.
"RESPONSE COSTS" are the cost associated with responses by law enforcement, fire
and other emergency response providers to a gathering, including but not limited to: (1)
salaries and benefits of law enforcement, code enforcement, fire or other emergency
response personnel for the amount of time spent responding to, remaining at or
otherwise dealing with a gathering and the administrative costs attributable to such
response(s); (2) the cost of any medical treatment for any law enforcement, code
enforcement, fire or other emergency response personnel injured responding to,
remaining at or leaving the scene of a gathering; (3) the cost of repairing any city
equipment or property damaged and the cost of the use of any such equipment, in
responding to, remaining at, or leaving the scene of a gathering; and (4) any other
allowable costs related to the enforcement of this Section.
"YEAR OF AGE" continues from one birthday, such as the 17th, to but not including the
day of the next, such as the 18th or the 21st birthday.
(B) Consumption of Alcohol by Minor in Public Place, Place Open to Public, or Place
Not Open to Public.
Except as permitted by state law, it is unlawful for any minor to:
(1) consume at any public place or any place open to the public alcoholic beverage:
(2) consume at any place not open to the public any alcoholic beverage unless in
connection with consumption of the alcoholic beverage that minor is being
supervised by his or her parent or legal guardian.
(3) Hosting, Permitting or Allowing a Party, Gathering, or Event Where Minors
Consuming Alcoholic Beverages Prohibited.
(C) (1) It is the duty of any person having control of any premises, who knowingly
hosts, permits or allows a gathering at said premises to take all reasonable steps
to prevent the consumption of alcoholic beverages by any minor at the gathering.
Reasonable steps are controlling access to alcoholic beverages at the gathering;
controlling the quantity of alcoholic beverages present at the gathering; verifying
the age of persons attending the gathering by inspecting driver's licenseS or other
government-issued identification cards to ensure that minors do not consume
alcoholic beverages while at the gathering; and supervising the activities of minors
at the gathering.
(2) It is unlawful for any person having control of any premises to knowingly host, permit
or allow a gathering to take place at said premises where at least one minor consumes
an alcoholic beverage, whenever the person having control of the premises either knows
a minor has consumed an alcoholic beverage or reasonable should have known that a
minor consumed an alcoholic beverage had the person taken all reasonable steps to
prevent the consumption of an alcoholic beverage by a minor as set forth in subsection
(C)(1) of this Section.
(D) This Section shall not apply to conduct involving the use of alcoholic beverages that
occurs exclusively between a minor and his or her parent or legal guardian.
(E) Nothing in this Section should be interpreted to prohibit any family activity held in the
confines of the family home from providing the use of alcohol to immediate family
members within the supervision of parents and guardians. However, if a minor leaves
such family gathering intoxicated and is found in public then said providers of alcohol will
be held responsible in the same manner as a non-family gathering.
(F) Nothing in this Section should be interpreted to any religious practice which includes the
use of alcohol. However, if a minor leaves such a religious gathering intoxicated and is
found to be in public then said providers of alcohol will be held responsible in the same
manner as a non-religious gathering.
(G) This Section shall not apply to any premises licensed by the State of Arkansas to
dispense alcoholic beverages.
(H) Criminal Penalties and Civil Remedies
(1) Any person who shall violate the provisions of this Section shall be deemed
guilty of an offense against the County and upon conviction thereof shall be
punished for violation of a Class A Misd. offense, with a fine of Five Hundred
Dollars ($500.00) for the first offense with the fine doubling for each subsequent
offense, or by imprisonment, plus all court costs and statutory penalties, as set
forth in this Ordinance.
(2) Any juvenile who shall violate the provision of this Section shall be deemed
guilty of an offense against the County and upon conviction thereof shall punished
for violation according to the Code of the Cross Juvenile Court.
(3) Violations of this Section may be prosecuted by the County of Cross
criminally, civilly and/or administratively as provided by the Municipal Code. The
County may seek administrative fees and response costs associated with
enforcement of this Section through all remedies or procedure provided by statute,
ordinance or law. This Section shall not limit the authority of peace officers or
private citizens to make arrests for any criminal offense arising out of the conduct
regulated by this section, nor shall they limit the County's ability to initiate and
prosecute any criminal offense arising out of the same circumstances
necessitating the application of this Section.
(I) Local Authority This Section shall not apply where prohibited or preempted by the state
or federal law.
That this section shall repeal all Ordinances or section of Ordinances that are
If, regardless of cause, any section, subsection, paragraph or clause of this Ordinance is
held invalid or unconstitutional, the remaining section, subsections, paragraphs or
clauses shall continue in full force and effect and shall be constructed thereafter as being
the entire provision of this Ordinance.
Emergency Clause This Ordinance being necessary for the preservation of the public
peace, health, comfort, convenience, morals, safety and welfare of the County of Cross
an emergency is declared to exist and this Ordinance shall be in full force and effect from
the date of its adoption.