tion may be a more effective way of reinforcing the social norm than the rare and often invisible imposition of social host liability. Nonetheless, states may want to consider enacting or strengthening civil social host liability statutes that allow negligence-based civil actions against noncommercial providers of alcohol for serving or providing alcohol to a minor who subsequently causes injury to others.
Allowing the service of alcohol at child- and family-oriented public events may promote underage drinking. One way to control alcohol at public events, in parks, beaches, sports arenas, public recreation facilities, parking lots, and other publicly accessible locations is through the use of conditional use permits. Conditional use permits, used by a city or county, allow local communities to set standards for how and when alcohol will be sold and served. These local ordinances can reduce sales to minors by such means as requiring the use of responsible beverage sales and service practices at public events, limiting advertising, and restricting hours of sale. Conditional use permits allow communities to enforce laws and exact penalties locally. Case studies suggest that they can be used effectively to reduce sales to minors and excessive drinking at public events (Streiker, 2000; Reynolds, n.d.). Little or no rigorous research has been conducted on the effectiveness of conditional use permits. However, cities and counties may want to use conditional use permits to set standards for how and when alcohol will be sold and served at public events.
Zero tolerance laws specify a lower BAC for underage drivers. Usually this limit is set at the minimum that can be reliably detected by breath testing equipment (i.e., 0.01 to 0.02). Zero tolerance laws commonly invoke administrative penalties, such as automatic confiscation of a driver’s license for driving after consuming even small amounts of alcohol.
Zero tolerance laws have now been enacted in all 50 states. There is strong evidence that zero tolerance laws can reduce underage drinking and driving and crash fatalities. Differences in effectiveness are thought to be related to differences in enforcement and in awareness among young people (Balmforth, 1999; Ferguson et al., 2000; Hingson et al, 1994). Impediments to the enforcement of these laws include requirements that zero tolerance citations be supported by evidential BAC testing, undue costs to police (e.g., paperwork, court appearances), and lack of behavioral cues for stopping