PARENTS OF TEENAGERS BEWARE (Underage Drinking is not a Minor Problem)

Note from Audra:  An anonymous Aha! Subscriber submitted this in order to keep our readers informed and our teens safe….


Begin anonymous submission:

A recent party at a home in Dunwoody left many teens severely sickened by alcohol and drugs. Aside from the problems to the teens caused by these substances, there are consequences for the parents of the home as well.

Did you know that if your underage child has a party at your house in which alcohol and or illegal drugs are consumed by those underage that you as parents can be liable both criminally and civilly.

Criminal Issues

The criminal statutes in Georgia state that parents can be convicted of a crime commonly known as “Contributing To The Delinquency Of A Minor” if they “knowingly” allow the use of alcohol and or illegal drugs in their home by minors or if they “fail to act” when the use of these substances is present.

The crime in Georgia for those adults hosting the party in their home is that they will be charged with a misdemeanor and if convicted, be subject to a fine of up to $1000.00 or imprisoned for not more than 12 months or be both fined and imprisoned.

In Georgia deputies sent to jail a homeowner, who said her daughter was having a prom after-party with her friends. The report says after some investigation, it became clear to police that the homeowner had noticed the minors drinking alcohol and even admitted she took away coolers containing alcohol, but did nothing else to “further deter the minors from consuming alcoholic beverages or ending the party.”

Civil Issues

Georgia, as in other states has “Social Host Laws”. Georgia law allows lawsuits to be filed against parents hosting a party in their home if alcoholic beverages are served to an underage drinker with the knowledge that that underage drinker will soon be driving a motor vehicle. For example a third party can bring a claim against the “Social Hosts” , if they were injured by an underage drunk driver who was served alcohol in the their home and the unspeakable, if a person dies because of the actions of the underage drinker.

The lawsuits would seek monetary damages against the parents for the loss in question and in addition the underage drunk driver would face criminal charges.

And parents don’t assume that your homeowner’s policy will take care of the monetary damages. Some homeowner insurance policies have exemptions for coverage of injuries resulting from criminal acts.

Parents have naive perceptions about what goes on at teen parties. Parents wake up. Keep your eyes open. Check your basement, garage, backyard or anywhere else on your property that these teens are congregating on. Don’t go to sleep while the parties are still going on.

On the advice of a Dunwoody Police Officer , if you are a neighbor and see teens congregating on a property and are concerned, call the police who will investigate further. If you later find out about a party in which alcohol and or illegal drugs were being consumed by those underage, report it to the police and they will be glad to go to the parents home to inform them of the activities that occurred in their home.