Underage Drinking & the Law

What parents need to know now about the new Social Host Laws


Law enforcement has a secret weapon in the War on Underage Drinking: 

Arrest the Parents

Once upon a time, crimes required passion, desperation or recklessness. Not any more. Now, your “crime” could be going out for dinner with your spouse and coming home a half hour earlier than your teen expected…or permitting your child to have three friends sleep over…or agreeing to help celebrate the varsity team’s big win.

Once, being called a Social Host was a compliment on your party planning skills…but this party is happening without your approval.

Today, being called a Social Host means you’ve been charged with an unintended crime of allowing teens to drink in your home. Not buying alcohol for teens or serving alcohol to teens; just not doing enough to prevent them from drinking in your home.

Let’s be absolutely clear: if you believe it’s okay to serve alcohol to other people’s children, this is not the site for you.

However, if your parenting style sits in the muddy middle between the Just-Say-No Prohibitionists and the Always-Say-Yes Permissivists, welcome to SocialHostLaw.com. This website serves to help caring, involved parents navigate the tricky issues of underage drinking and the law. Our goal is to answer the question:

How can we protect our families and ourselves if good parents are criminalized when teens disobey their rules?

SocialHostLaw.com is the source for parents and families for:

  • Up-to-the-minute news on the laws that affect you
  • The latest research on underage drinking
  • Resources to share with your friends and family
  • Community and Connection
  • And more

For quick information on Social Hosting, how to find the ordinance in your area and understanding the law, visit our FAQs and Social Host Law Primer pages

42 comments on “Welcome

  1. Kirk Kirk Law
    April 16, 2014

    You can’t police your kids 24/7.

    • HM Epstein
      April 16, 2014

      Thank you for your interesting column about the issue, from a law perspective.

  2. Joan
    March 26, 2014

    Glad I don’t have any kids. The muddy waters here are deep and dangerous. What if a kid sneaks in a bottle and spikes their sods or juices while the kids are alone for a second. What if they are already on a drug that they had taken at the other kid’s parents, home before ever arriving at your home? Then, they go out again to cause a car accident, etc. Who then, is responsible? Yikes.. Sad, sobering and frightening.

  3. healthy weight range
    May 7, 2013

    Very good article. I certainly love this website.


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