History of Social Host Law

Kansas passed a social host law in 2004, a.k.a. Paul’s Law, named for Paul Riggs, a Lenexa teen who was killed while driving home from a friend’s party, where he and other teenagers had been drinking. The friend’s parents were home during the party while the teens drank alcohol.  After Paul’s death, his mother, Debbie Riggs, attempted to have a social host law passed in the Kansas legislature to protect the youth of the state.

The social host law established a new crime of unlawfully hosting where persons under the age of 18 consume alcoholic beverages or cereal malt beverages.Unlawfully hosting minors consuming alcoholic liquor or cereal malt beverage is now a Class A person misdemeanor, for which there is a minimum fine of $1,000.

*During the 2007 Legislative session, the law was changed to define a minor as “under the age of 21” instead of 18.  A minor in Kansas is defined as under the age of 21.

During the 2009 Legislative session, a bill was passed to add the words “or recklessly” to the phrasing ‘Unlawfully hosting minors consuming alcoholic liquor or cereal malt beverage is intentionally or recklessly permitting a person’s residence or any land, building, structure or room owned, occupied or procured by such person to be used by an invitee of such person or an invitee of such person’s child or ward, in a manner that results in the possession or consumption therein of alcoholic liquor or cereal malt beverages by a minor.’