Parents who host lose the most

Parents who host lose the most

Don’t be a party to teenage drinking. It’s against the law.

logo-parents-who-host-largeThe Orange County Legislature unanimously voted to pass a social host law on Feb. 4, 2016. Under the law, it is illegal for homeowners or any host 18 years or older to knowingly allow underage drinking at their home or a party, or to not take action to stop underage drinking once they find out about it.


  • It is illegal to make alcohol available to children other than your own
  • It is illegal to host or allow teen drinking parties in your home
  • It is illegal, unhealthy and unacceptable for anyone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol
  • It is unsafe and illegal for teens to drink and drive
  • Parents can be prosecuted under the law
  • Everything associated with a violation, such as personal property, can be confiscated.

Underage drinking laws

What parents should know:

  • As parents, you cannot give alcohol to your teen’s friends who are under the age of 21 under any circumstance, even in your own home, even with their parents’ permission.
  • You cannot knowingly allow a person under 21, other than your own child, to remain in your home or on your property while consuming or possessing alcohol

If you break the law:

  • You can face a maximum sentence of one year in jail and/or $1,000 fine
  • Others can sue you if you give alcohol to anyone under 21 and they, in turn, hurt someone, hurt themselves or damage property
  • You can be sued with the possibility of losing your home and financial security

Things you can do as a parent:

  • Refuse to supply alcohol to children other than your own in your home or on your property
  • Be at home when your teen has a party
  • Make sure that your teen’s friends do not bring alcohol into your home
  • Talk to other parents about not providing alcohol at other events your child will be attending
  • Create alcohol-free opportunities and activities in your home so teens will feel welcome

If your teen is having a party

• Help your teenager plan the party. Make a guest list and invite only a specific number of people.
• Have your child pass out or send invitations and try to avoid the “open party” situation.
• Don’t send e-mail invitations. They can be forwarded to a large number of people quickly and you lose control of who has this information.
• Put your phone number on the invitation and welcome calls from parents.
• Set rules ahead of time like no alcohol, drugs or tobacco. Set a start and end time for the party.
• Let attendees know that if they leave, they can’t come back.
• Have plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages.
• Plan some activities such as music, games, movies, etc.
• Let your neighbors know in advance there will be a party and that you will be there to supervise.
• Familiarize yourself with the noise ordinance in your area.
• Limit the party access to a certain area of the house/property.
• Have a plan for dealing with vehicles. Include parking information in your party invitation.
• Call parents of any teen who arrives in possession of alcohol or under the influence. If you can’t get in touch with the parents, keep them there or call the police if necessary. You can be civilly liable if you know they are intoxicated and you let them leave.
• Secure all forms of alcohol, firearms, and other potentially hazardous items in your home in a safe place.
• Make regular and unobtrusive visits to the party area with sensitivity to teens’ needs for privacy and independence.
• Invite some other parents to help chaperone if there will be a large number of teenagers.

Report underage drinking by calling the anonymous, toll-free hotline at 1-866-UNDER21.