Re: Permission to tell your child “No”
Prom and graduation time have arrived again. You love your teenager and want her/him to have wonderful memories of this special occasion. However, your teenager has begun to pressure you to throw an after-prom or graduation party. The problem is, according to your teenager, no one will attend the party unless alcohol is served. To make an informed decision, you must understand the risks.
In 2000, our state legislature passed a Social Host law which provides for both criminal and civil liability to anyone who provides liquor to a teenager. Minnesota Stat. 340A.90 allows for a civil cause of action against a person who is 21 years or older who: had control over the premises and, being in a reasonable position to prevent the consumption of alcoholic beverages by that person, knowingly or recklessly permitted that consumption and the consumption caused the intoxication of that person; or sold, bartered, furnished or gave to, or purchased for a person under the age of 21 years alcoholic beverages that caused the intoxication of that person.
This law will help parents to say No to their teenagers when they are asked to host underage parties that illegally serves alcohol to their friends.If a teenager who has been drinking at a party where you have provided the liquor kills or injures another, you will likely be sued for the full cost of any injuries sustained (Minn. Stat. ‘ 340A.801(6)). Even if you don’t directly provide the alcohol but permitted the consumption, you risk putting all of your assets in jeopardy and facing a long-term judgment against you.
You cannot evade this liability by purchasing liquor for the teenagers at a hotel-room party or by purchasing drinks for them at a restaurant or bar. Although someone else may serve them, the law holds the ultimate purchaser/provider responsible.
Mom and Dad, unless you want to risk contributing to the death or injury of another (possibly your own child), losing all of your family’s financial assets, or facing criminal charges, show your teen this letter and tell her/him that you have no choice but to say “no” alcohol served at the party.”
Two Moms who have each lost a precious child to a drunk driver.
Lord & Faris Law Firm
111 Third Ave South
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Our Minneapolis Personal Injury Attorneys are experienced in resolving and litigating issues resulting from a wide variety of injuries, including: