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What is Cody's Law?

In Oklahoma, a law was passed after a death in 2004; the young man who passed away was named Cody Ryan Greenhaw, and he was only 16 when he died. The resulting law, therefore, has been dubbed Cody's Law.

Cody went to a friend's house to attend a party. Both alcohol and drugs had been used on a consistent basis at parties in the home, and the parents allegedly knew what was going on. Oklahoma didn't have any laws on the books that holding such parties was illegal, even if those drinking were under the legal drinking age.

Under Cody's Law, parents or hosts now have far more responsibility. Not only can they not provide alcohol for underage individuals, but they can also be responsible if they've just given the young people a place to have a party and turned a blind eye to the whole thing. Parents are now told that they must know what is happening on their property and that they must put a stop to it if drug and alcohol use are noted.

This is true for renters and homeowners alike. Ignorance of a situation is no longer an excuse, as those who are in charge of the property have to pay attention to make sure drinking laws are never broken.

The punishments that can be handed out under Cody's Law vary based on the number of offenses. Small fines of $500 are used at first, but repeat offenders could see large fines, jail time or even a combination of the two.

Cody's Law has been changed twice so far, once in 2007 and once in 2011. Make sure that you know exactly what the updated law says and how it may change in the future.

Source: www.oklahomasocialhost.com, "Cody's Law," accessed May. 20, 2015

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