With all the free time teens have during summer vacation, experimenting with drugs and alcohol is a far too common way to pass the time. And according to research, some parents are ok with that…as long as teens drink under their supervision.
According to two 2005 surveys conducted by the American Medical Association (AMA), 26% of parents with children between the ages of 12 to 20 think teens should be able to drink at home when their parents are around while 33% of teens between the ages of 13 and 18 reported that it’s easy get alcohol from their parents knowingly.
While it might seem like you’re keeping your teens safe by letting them drink under your supervision, you’re actually doing your teens more harm than good. And by providing them alcohol, you face the costs of providing alcohols to minors.
Social host liability laws hold adults who knowingly or unknowingly host a party where alcohol is served on property they own, lease, or control responsible if guests under the age of 21 are served alcohol. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), 29 states have general host liability laws/ Nine of those states have social host laws specific to underage parties.
Consequences of violating social host liability laws vary from state to state, but you can expect to face fines, jail time, administrative fees, emergency response costs, and/or the costs of any damages or injuries. In California, for example, adults who provide alcohol to those under the age of 21 face a fine of $1,000 and possible jail time. In Massachusetts, adults who violate social host liability laws face a fine of up to $2,000 and/or up to one year in jail. In Washington, you’ll face a fine of up to $5,000 and one year in jail.
The next time your teens or their friends ask you to buy them alcohol, let them know that underage drinking is 100% unacceptable and tell them to wait until they’re 21 to drink legally, safely, and responsibly.