Below are some commonly asked questions.

Q: What is Social Hosting?

Social Hosting is providing and/or serving alcohol to a young person who is under the minimum drinking age of 21.  Social hosting can take place in a party-like atmosphere or by an adult simply providing alcohol to teenagers and their peers for them to drink.  It can even extend to parents and homeowners who are not on the premises and/or did not provide the alcohol.

Q: What’s wrong with social hosting?

Hosting parties for underage drinkers sends the message to teens that it’s ok to break the law.  The mistaken idea is that you are providing a safe environment in which teens can drink, but there is no such thing as safe underage drinking.  There is no way to predict how teens will behave while drinking.  Injuries, assault, rape, or alcohol poisoning may occur on your property and you can be held criminally liable. 

Q: What are the consequences of social hosting?

There are many consequences to hosting a party where underage drinking occurs.

  • You may have your driver’s license suspended, pay a fine, and/or serve jail time.
  • Homeowner’s Insurance rates can increase.
  • You may be held civilly liable.  Any accidents or injuries that may result could end in lawsuits.
  • You could be responsible for medical bills, property damage, or have to pay damages for pain and emotional suffering.
  • You may suffer from negative press in local radio, TV, and newspapers.
  • Someone could be seriously injured or killed under your watch.

What should I do if we are out of town?

Here are some ideas:

  • Have a strict “NO PARTY” at the house rule while you are gone.
  • Ask a responsible adult to “house sit” or make arrangements with a neighbor to keep an eye on the place.
  • Ask your local law enforcement to check on the house and let your teenagers know that you have made this request.

Is there anything I can do as a parent?

Underage drinking is never acceptable. Try to do all you can to create an environment where teens steer clear of dangerous drugs.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Set a good example.
  • Talk openly with your teen; let him or her know what your expectations are.  Set clear guidelines and consequences.
  • Get to know your teen’s friends and their friend’s parents.
  • Insist that your teen check in with you regularly.
  • Learn what your teen’s goals and dreams are and discuss how underage drinking can affect their dreams, relationships, and future.