Alcohol is a common presence at underage parties. In fact, it may be what draws teenagers to go to a party. Some parents today host these parties in their homes because they think it is safer for kids to drink at home rather than in public. However, if things spiral out of control, the host may be held legally responsible for any damages those teens cause.
One in six parents allow their kids to consume alcohol
It is against the law in every state for anybody under 21 to buy or consume alcohol. Despite this, we can still see many teenagers breaking this law at house parties. Sadly, underage drinking leads to almost 4,000 deaths every year.
But how do these underage drinkers get their hands on booze? Through an adult. These kids typically convince someone they know or ask their parents for it. In fact, because of the pandemic, more parents are tolerant of underage drinking. Data shows that one out of every six parents allow their teenagers to consume alcohol.
However, given the risks of underage drinking, adults should take the lead and act responsibly. As parents, it is your duty to educate your kids about the possible consequences of their actions and how to be responsible members of society.
Social host liability law
To help reduce underage drinking, social host liability laws were established to hold individuals who provide a minor with alcohol legally responsible for any resulting injuries, death or damages. The law also covers adults who provide a place for underage individuals to drink alcohol. If you supply alcohol to minors, you may face a misdemeanor charge that carries up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Even if you did not provide the alcohol at a party for your teenager and their friends, but they bring some anyway, the law could still hold you legally responsible. Unfortunately, it is easy for parties with drunk teens to go out of hand. If one of the kids gets into an accident or is arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), the victim may file a claim against you.
Before you agree to host a party in your home, think very carefully about the risks involved. If you must, supervise the party to ensure that no one is serving alcohol or drugs, and consider allowing guests to spend the night to reduce the risk of drunk driving.