The summer season is traditionally known for parties. Memorial Day, Graduation, Fourth of July and Labor Day are reasons to celebrate and often these celebrations include the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
The Social Host Law was designed to deter underage drinking at parties where adults knowingly allow minors to drink alcohol or alcoholic beverages. The law applies to any adult (including parents) who is over the age of 18 and who knowingly allows consumption of alcohol by minors. A minor is considered to be anyone under the age of 21.
Who can be charged? Anyone who is over the age of 18 and owns, rents or otherwise controls a private residence or similar location (campsites, hotel rooms, yards, etc.) and knowingly allows the consumption of alcohol or alcoholic beverages by a minor on such premises or fails to take reasonable corrective action upon learning of the consumption of alcohol or alcoholic beverages by any minor on the premises.
What is “Reasonable Corrective Action” Actions that include, but are not limited to, making a prompt demand that the minor stop drinking the alcoholic beverage or leave the premises. If the minor refuses to comply with the request, the adult must promptly report the incident to local law enforcement or to any other person with greater degree of authority over the minor such as the parent or guardian.
What are the penalties? The first offense comes with the penalty of a $500 fine. The second offense, $1,000 fine and/or up to a year in jail.
Is there any protection for you under your Homeowners Policy? There is no coverage under your Homeowner’s Policy for an offense or damage connected to the violation of the Social Host Law.
This law provides a legal basis for holding adults responsible for knowingly allowing parties for youth under 21 to occur at the place under their control, whether or not they provided the alcohol.
Please note: This law does not apply to a parent who both expressly permits his or her minor child to consume the alcoholic beverage and who is present with the minor at the time of consumption.
Know your rights and have a Happy and Safe Summer party season from C.H. Edwards, Inc., the agency that takes pride in educating our consumers! www.chedwards.net or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.net/chedwardsinsurance.