Parents Potentially Liable for Underage Drinking
- July 30, 2013
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It is likely you have heard the stories of parents being arrested for providing alcohol or a location for underage drinking to take place. There are many misconceptions as well as doubts that parents should or can be held liable for teenagers drinking together. Regardless of your opinion, New Jersey has laws establishing strict liability and punishments if one would be convicted. Providing alcohol to any persons under twenty-one can carry a punishment under N.J.S.A 2C:33-17a of up to 6 months in jail and as much as $1,000 in fines. Allowing underage drinking to take place on private property carries the same penalty as providing alcohol to minors. Some adults believe that by allowing teenagers to drink under their supervision they are making a responsible decision that could potentially save lives from being lost as a result of the teens driving while intoxicated. While this may be true, adults must also see the potential position of culpability they may be putting themselves in. Whether parents are at home or away while the underage drinking is taking place there is a potential to be held liable for the actions of underage drinkers. Even when simply leaving their children home for a weekend, if parents do not find suitable supervision they may be seen as negligent and therefore liable. Teenagers and their parents can seek damages against adults who permit the teens to drink in the event they incur medical bills, property damage or other forms of pain and suffering. Although in other countries alcohol is viewed differently and children often enjoy wine with meals, that is not the case in our society and the laws do not allow it. Allowing your children to drink can subject you to liability for damages and harm to others as well as having your children removed from your home for negligent parenting. Allowing other underage drinking, even under your supervision, can subject you to criminal penalties. Underage Drinking and allowing underage drinking in NJ will have a serious impact on your life and can have significant implications in related matters such as later personal injury or other criminal charges. If you are charged with underage drinking, providing alcohol to a minor or allowing underage drinking in NJ you should seek an experienced attorney immediately to protect your rights. For more information on DUI, possession of a CDS in a motor vehicle or other serious motor vehicle charges in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.