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Goldstein and Bashner

Long Island Lawyer to Parents, “Don’t Host Your Teen's Drinking Parties”

You know your kids and their friends want to drink, and so it may seem like a good idea—let the kids drink in your house so at least you know where they are and can see that your child is safe. But hosting a party with underage drinkers is a crime, one with strict penalties. In addition, you may face lawsuits from anyone that is hurt--even after they leave your house. In 2011, a Dix Hills couple was charged after 16-year-old Taylor Ann Cavaliere, who was drinking at their house, walked away from their home and was struck and killed as she tried to walk across the Northern State Parkway.
Both Nassau and Suffolk Counties have social host laws that make it a crime to permit minors to drink alcohol in your house. Serving minors is unsafe for many reasons—teens who drink are a danger to themselves, to their friends and to others on the road, should they choose to drive. Driving isn’t the only danger—teens who have been drinking are more likely to be assaulted, drown or fall, or injure themselves in some other way.
The best way to protect your child and family is to not allow underage drinking in your home at all. Your attitudes and behavior toward teen drinking also influence your child. Make it clear that this rule holds true whether you are home or not.
In addition to the legal issues of serving alcohol to minors, research shows that kids whose parents or friends’ parents provide alcohol for teen get-togethers are more likely to engage in heavier drinking, to drink more often, and to get into traffic accidents.
At Goldstein and Bashner, we want to see that you have a safe and enjoyable summer. Our personal injury lawyers strongly advise you to protect yourself and make smart choices before having events at your home. If you have any questions about social host liability laws, contact us today. If your teenager was injured in any way after being served alcohol at a friend’s house, we can sit down with you for a free, no-obligation consultation to help you understand the law, your rights and what you can expect from the legal process.
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