Guide to Safe Teen Parties
When your teen is hosting a party:
- Establish basic ground rules. Emphasize that the responsibility for hosting the party belongs to both you and your teen.
- Create a guest list and stick to it; a guest list reduces the possibility of crashers.
- Be sure to let your teen know in advance that alcohol and other drug use will not be tolerated.
You and your teen should know the law and the consequences of serving alcohol and other drugs.
- It is illegal to provide alcohol to visitors under the age of 21 or to allow guests to use illegal drugs in your home.
- There are criminal charges for risking injury to a minor.
- You are legally responsible for anything that happens to a minor who has been served alcohol or other drugs in your home.
SOCIAL HOST LAW
A "zero tolerance" law puts the blood alcohol concentration
(BAC) threshold at .02 for DUI convictions among youth under 21.
Further, under Public Act 06-112, persons who permit underage drinking to occur in their homes can be held accountable, and minors are prohibited from possessing and drinking alcohol anywhere unless accompanied by their parent or as part of a religious observance.
A first offense for permitting minors to possess alcohol on one's property or failing to halt the possession of alcohol by minors on one's property is an infraction subject to a $146 fine. The penalty for subsequent offenses is a fine of up to $500 and/or up to a year in prison. The first offense for possession of alcohol by minors is also an infraction and carries a $181 fine. Subsequent violations result in fines of $200 to $500.
In addition, under another statute, CGS Sec. 14-111e passed in 1997, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles will suspend for 5 months the motor vehicle operator's license of any person under the age of 21 who has been convicted of a violation of section 30-88a involving the misuse of an operator's license or section 30-89 involving the purchase and possession of alcoholic liquor by a minor.
Stay home during the party.
- Provide adequate supervision without going overboard. Don't hang around, but be seen regularly.
- Be aware of indications of alcohol and other drug use.
- Don't allow guests to come and go; reduce the risk of teens going off to drink or use drugs and then returning to the home.
- Anyone who tries to bring in alcohol or other drugs should be asked to leave. - Call the police if anyone you ask to leave refuses to do so.
- Contact the parents of anyone who arrives at the party indicating that s/he is under the influence. Do not allow anyone who is drunk to drive. Provide transportation.
When your teen is attending a party:
- Know where your teen will be, how long s/he will be there and what will and will not be served.
- Do not allow your teen to attend a party if alcohol is being served.
- Verify with the parent of the party-giver that the party will be well chaperoned.
- Set the time your teen will be expected to return home. Be awake or have your teen awaken you upon arrival.
- If your child stays with a friend overnight, check with the friend's parents to verify the plans. Don't allow last minute "spontaneous" sleep-overs, if possible.
Be aware of how your teen will get to and from the party.
- You or someone you know should be available to provide a ride home if needed.
- Tell your child never to ride home with a driver who is under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs.
- Talk to your child about what kinds of situations may arise in which s/he'd need to call for a ride home.