Can Minors Be at a Party Where There’s Alcohol?
You are at a party with your adult friends, having a good time. You and your friends are consuming alcohol, as you are legally able to do, when you notice that a person who looks a little too young to drink walks through the front door. Do you have to stop drinking?
In general, it is not illegal for minors to be at parties where alcohol is being served, nor do adults consuming alcohol need to stop drinking because minors are present. That said, there are laws that prohibit certain actions when a minor is at any gathering in which alcohol is being served. If the minor is not consuming alcohol, there is generally no issue. If, on the other hand, the minor starts drinking, several laws may come into play.
Persons under the age of 21 are not permitted to drink alcohol in most states. In some states, persons 18 and over may consume alcohol in their own home and with their legal guardians. When a minor attends a gathering and consumes alcohol, they can be charged with the crime of illegal consumption if caught.
There is a difference between minors attending a party where alcohol is present, and minors being served alcohol at a party. Any adult who is found to have been serving or otherwise furnishing alcohol to minors can find themselves in legal trouble.
Responsibility for Intoxicated Minors
Say that a minor is drinking alcohol at a party where adults are present. You are one of those adults, but you did not serve the minor any alcohol. You could still find yourself in trouble if the minor leaves the gathering and gets into trouble. If found to be intoxicated, the minor will be asked where they consumed alcohol and who was present. You could find yourself being questioned by the police as to why you did not stop the child from drinking. Your neglect to stop a minor from consuming alcohol could have you charged with “contributing to the delinquency of a minor.”
In most cases, a person can consume alcohol in the presence of minors without getting into trouble. Crimes are not committed until the minors in attendance begin consuming alcohol themselves. A good rule of thumb is to avoid parties where alcohol and minors are both present. If you hold a party at your home where alcohol is present, it is up to you as the host to make sure no minors partake.
If you find yourself charged with driving under the influence in Atlanta or the surrounding area or are charged with other alcohol-related crimes, reach out to the experienced team at Hawkins Spizman Kilgo. Our attorneys will review the details of your arrest and charges and advise you of your legal options. Call now to schedule your appointment for a free case evaluation.