Category: Young Adults

Guardianship Over Minors, Young Adults , , , , , , , ,

Social Host Liability: Learn the Laws Before Thinking about Serving to Minors

When throwing a graduation party many parents say the same thing when it comes to drinking:

“The kids are going to drink anyway, so why don’t we provide a place in our home for them where they can be supervised?”

In response, we have found a few pieces of information to think about as well as the laws in Massachusetts.

  1. While parents who adopt this approach think they will be able to supervise a teenage party with alcohol, they cannot predict situations that may develop if a minor has been drinking.
  2. Good intentions aside, this approach may subject both parents and child to criminal penalties and civil liability.
  3. If teenage alcohol consumption has taken place at a supervised party, and the teenagers have left the home, the “social host’s” responsibility does not end.

The following are penalties one may face if they choose to host a party and/or provide alcohol for minors.

Contributing to the delinquency of minor.
Penalty: Max. 1 yr in prison; $500 fine or both.
Sale, delivery, furnishing alcohol to person under 21 years old.
Penalty: Max. 1 yr in prison, max. $2,000 fine; or both

Common Questions:

Can I be sued if my child or a teenage guest at my home drinks alcohol and harms another person?

Yes. Under the principle of social host liability, you can be held financially responsible if your guest harms or kills another person after having consumed alcohol at your home.

Why should I be liable for the criminal or negligent acts of my guests? If my guest kills or injures someone in a drunk driving accident after drinking in my home, why should that be my problem?

If your guest was under age 21 and you allowed him to consume alcohol, you committed a crime. Violation of a criminal statute is powerful evidence that you were negligent. There is no good reason to allow anyone under 21 to drink alcohol. If your guest was an adult who was visibly impaired, you were negligent if you permitted him to drink alcohol at your home. There is no good reason to serve any impaired guest more alcohol.

For more information about the Social Host Liability Law’s and how to protect your children, visit our website at www.phillipsgarcia.com call us at 508-998-0800 or email Andrew Garcia at [email protected].

Massachusetts also provides this great brochure with very important information on this topic.

Finances & Kids, Young Adults , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Prom and Graduation Season: Protecting Your Children

It’s one of the most exciting times of the year, the sun is finally out, the Sox and Bruins are winning and guess what, it’s prom and graduation season! Prom is an incredible experience that culminates a whole year of hard work and perseverance during one of the most confusing times of a person’s life, high school. This can also be said for many high school seniors who are graduating this spring and ready to celebrate. You should celebrate! You deserve it. Celebration along with year ending ceremonies is a right of passage and it is important for you and your child to understand how to celebrate safely and within the limits of the law.

This week we are going to be discussing a variety of topics ranging from prom safety, minors and drinking, to texting while driving. We truly believe that this special time in our lives should be cherished and completed safely so that we can all look back and remember our wonderful young years.

To start off I’ve compiled a few local articles with great information about these topics. Enjoy!

A great tip from Safeandsober.com
“Weekends and especially Prom night are the worst times to be on the road. There are more drunk drivers at that time. Be sure to drive carefully and know where you’re going. Keep your cell phone charged in case of an emergency and take extra precautions like pausing another second at a red light or stop sign.”

“Durfee Seniors Win Prom Safety Video Contest” Congrats to the local seniors at Durfee High for winning “Dance, Don’t Chance” video contest. Great stuff, check it out!

“Grant Designed to Combat Underage Drinking”

“Help teenagers avoid prom pitfalls”

“Simulators show drivers, teens crash consequences”

 To speak with Attorney Garcia call him at (508) 998-0800 or email him at [email protected] For more information on how to protect your family visit us at www.phillipsgarcia.com. Have a smart-phone? Scan below!