Hosting an Underage Drinking Party Could Be Costly to Your Liability
While we are not yet in Prom season, the topic of underage drinking came to mind as something I wanted to address before the end of the school year. Parents have a number of reasons for wanting to host a prom party for their teens. Keeping their children in your house is the safest way to let them have an active social life while still keeping an eye on them. Hosting a party to give their children a fun “last hurrah” when they begin looking beyond their high school years. Or, a parent might simply be looking for a way to make them happy for the last few months that they are still living under your roof.
Be a Good Parent By Teaching Your Children to Be Responsible
No matter what the reason, the number one thing you need to remember is “YOU ARE THE PARENT”. Your teen may have a lot of friends, but you are the only parents they will ever have. Your role is not to make them happy or make them like you. Your role is to educate them and instruct them on how to be responsible members of society. Therefore the decisions you make during their teen years will go a long way towards establishing your (and society’s) expectations as they go off to college and are no longer subject to your rules.
Measure All Possible Risks Involved with Being a Party Host
You need to think carefully about what kind of party you want to throw, what behavior you want to allow, and finally what risks you are willing to take. What I want to address in this blog is the risk you assume as a parent hosting a party for your teenager. When you decide to have a group of teens in your home you are ultimately responsible for what they do, including underage drinking or illegal drug activity. Most jurisdictions have created provisions that can be used by law enforcement officials to provide State-imposed liability against a social host (a good source of information is this website on Furnishing Alcohol To Minors).
Party Host Can Incur Legal Consequences for Illegal Activity like Underage Drinking
You may think that allowing Underage Drinking under your roof is safer for your children than them drinking out of your sight. However, this opens up a Pandora’s box of problems, both legally and socially. According to the Alcohol Policy Information System, there are laws and Prohibitions Against Hosting Underage Drinking Parties, imposing liability against hosts for providing alcohol to any teen. In other words, if you host a party and alcohol is provided, you may be responsible for anything the teens do for the remainder of the night.
Underage Drinking and Drugs Can Get Out Of Control
It really is this simple, you should not furnish alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs for your teen or their friends. Additionally, even if you don’t furnish the alcohol yourself, it is important that you know what your teenager’s guests are bringing into your home. Today, illegal drugs come in many forms, so unlike the smell of marijuana or alcohol, or visible smoke or open cans of beer, it is much harder to detect.
Avoid Being Charged With a Negligent Act
Now your party-goers are leaving your house and possibly driving after using drugs or alcohol, or riding with a friend who has consumed drugs or alcohol. If someone is drunk or under the influence of drugs, you could be held liable for their actions even if you did not supply the substances. Make sure you consider the risks involved, weigh your options, and exercise responsible decision-making.
If you have been charged with a Negligent Act after hosting a party where there was underage drinking, it is important to consult with an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney who can help you protect your rights. Contact Rohan Law at 404.923.0446 for a free consultation.