Consequences of Allowing Underage Drinking in Your Home
Raising our children correctly is difficult, to say the least. There is no universal blueprint dictating all the right choices and decisions parents should make while raising their children. The reality is that being a parent is fraught with many tough decisions. For example, when our kids grow into their teenage years and start experimenting with alcohol. Most parents understand the danger of alcohol especially when it comes to a minor. But a tough decision must be made, it is nearly impossible to control every decision your teenage child will make, but what can you do to reduce the potential for them to get themselves into trouble?
Supervised Underage Drinking
Many parents when faced with the choice of not knowing what their teens are doing, if they are safe, or even worse, getting behind the wheel after drinking or with someone who has, will consider allowing their teens to drink at home. Parent's believe that at least the teens are supervised, a parent can ensure that no one gets behind the wheel of a car and the peace of mind that comes with knowing where their teenage children are on a weekend night.
In Connecticut, parent's or legal guardians can be open themselves up to both criminal and civil liability for providing someone under the age of 21 with alcohol or allowing them to consume alcohol in their home. Depending on the circumstances of a particular criminal case, a parent can be criminally liable for risking the safety of a minor for providing alcohol to a minor under the age of 16. That would constitute a Class C felony which carries a potential sentence of 10 years in prison and or a fine of $10,000.
In addition to criminal liability, a parent can face serious financial consequences from a civil claim. The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in a landmark case for civil liability that the adult host of a party or social gathering can be held liable for any injuries sustained by the patrons of that party in the event that they are under the age of 21 and served or consumed alcohol.
In cases of third party liability, the court will examine the connection between the service of alcohol and the injury the minor sustained. For example, in the Supreme Court case mentioned above, a minor was served alcohol at a party hosted by an adult. The minor subsequently left the party and caused the death of another minor who also had attended the party. Once the trier of fact has determined that there is a causal link between the minor being served alcohol and the following injury, a parent can find themselves facing a hefty financial burden imposed by a civil lawsuit.
Comprehensive Connecticut Representation
Facing a criminal conviction is a very serious matter. Depending on the cause of action, a criminal conviction or allegation can raise additional civil vulnerability. You may be looking at losing your freedom or being responsible for paying a large amount of money as a result of a settlement or jury verdict. Enlisting the help of a dedicated and resourceful Stamford, Connecticut criminal defense attorney can make all the difference in your case. Contact our Stamford office at 203-348-5846 to schedule your initial consultation. Do not face these potentially devastating allegations alone.