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FRG may toughen underage drinking ordinance

FOX RIVER GROVE – Village officials in a fight against underage drinking are looking to beef up the town’s vague social hosting ordinance.

The Village Board is scheduled to vote Thursday on a model ordinance used in McHenry County. It calls for a fine of $500 to $1,500 for hosting an underage drinking party.

Village Administrator Karl Warwick said the current Fox River Grove ordinance is vague.

Under the proposed ordinance, it is the duty of anyone who allows an event or gathering at a residence or other premises to take all reasonable steps to prevent minors from consuming alcohol or illicit drugs at the gathering.

Anyone who calls police before a complaint is made about underage drinking or a party where there is illegal drug use would not be held responsible for an ordinance violation, under the proposal.

If the ordinance is adopted, the village’s regulation would be in line with other communities in McHenry County, Warwick said.

Village trustees also are scheduled to consider an ordinance banning the sale, possession or use of synthetic drugs in town.

A state law that took effect in January made the possession or sale of the synthetic marijuana a felony. By adding a village ordinance, the municipality can prosecute violations under its administrative adjudication program.

It would be up to police whether to seek charges under state law or the village ordinance, Warwick said.

Synthetic drugs, such as K2 and Spice, mimic the effects of marijuana but can have dangerous side effects. Synthetic marijuana can raise a person’s blood pressure and cause tremors, seizures and hallucinations.

Under the proposed synthetic drug ordinance, violaters could be fined $500 to $1,500.

If you go

What: Fox River Grove Village Board

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Village Hall, 305 Illinois St.

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