Jersey shore towns are taking steps to crack down further on underage drinking by holding minors responsible for consuming alcohol at house parties, rather than parents or adults who own the home.

Lower Township officials are looking to pass an ordinance that would hold minors responsible for underage drinking done behind closed doors.

“Its not like their going to be handcuffed and taken to headquarters…its a citation, they will go before a judge and pay a fine, they may lose their license or they may go to alcohol treatment” said Mayor Mike Beck.

Beck said statistics show that the mean age for introduction to alcohol is 11 years-old in Cape May county.

“We are doing this to protect the kids…if we can prevent one fatality, one tragedy from happening because someone decided to drink and drive.”

About a dozen neighboring communities have passed similar measures.

“There are also bills up for consideration in the state Senate and Assembly that could make this a state law” said Beck.

Authorities say there will still need to be probable cause to respond to a residence where underage drinking may be occurring. Township officials say the ordinance will be introduced during the next council meeting, April 2nd.

“It’s not about gaining revenue, its all about saving lives” said Beck.