.::: If Your Teen Hosts a Party
Teens throwing parties usually assume “nothing bad’s gonna happen.”
Most of the time they’re right, but sometimes things get out of control.
No one wants a party to end in tragedy or lead to a lawsuit.
Knowing about legal issues and taking steps to avoid problems can help reduce the risk of damage or injury.
Know the legal issues
- As a parent, you are liable for any alcohol your teen and their friends drink in your home or on your property.
- It is illegal to give alcohol to anyone under the age of 19. The only exception is in a private setting when the parent is present.
- So if you’re the parent supervising, it’s illegal to give alcohol to any teen other than your own – unless their parent is present and providing the alcohol.
- If guests get drunk and hurt themselves or someone else, you may be sued for injury or damage
- Your insurance may be null and void if injuries or damages result from illegally serving alcohol to people who are underage.
- You are legally responsible for what happens on your property even if:
- You’re not there.
- You don’t know guests are drinking.
- Guests bring their own alcohol.
Planning the party
Stick to this checklist as you help your teen plan:
- Before the party starts, tell everyone that there is a “no alcohol” rule.
- Hide or lock up your bottles of alcohol and medication to keep them out of reach.
- Establish clear rules and limits.
- Set a maximum number of guests.
- Set an age limit.
- Be clear that the party is invitation-only — no “crashers.”
- Set start and finish times.
- Keep a list of emergency numbers close-at-hand.
During the party
As the party gets underway:
- Stay home to supervise.
- If you can’t stay home, have another adult supervise who will follow your rules. An older sibling is often not the best choice.
- Don’t serve alcohol to anyone under 19.
- Don’t let anyone under 19 drink alcohol.
- Don’t let guests leave the party and come back again.
- Handle uninvited guests. Be prepared to ask them to leave immediately and call the police if necessary.
- Take action if guests drink or start to cause problems. Call their parents, don’t let them drive and if necessary, call the police.
After the party
If friends can’t find a safe way home, let them sleep over.