Liability Laws Make Parents Responsible for Underage Drinking in Their Home

Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention would like to remind parents who allow their teens to have friends over to drink, thinking it’s a safe way to keep them off the roads, that they are subject to liability laws that make them vulnerable to lawsuits, fines and jail time.

It is a criminal offense in Maryland to host an underage drinking party and it is punishable by law. The social host may be prosecuted by the State under a criminal statute and face fine or imprisonment for the criminal violation. If you break the law, you can be fined up to $2500 and others can sue you if you give alcohol to anyone under 21, they hurt someone, hurt themselves, damage property, or even if no harm comes to anyone.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism (www.niaaa.nih.goc), alcohol is the drug of choice among children and adolescents. Annually, about 5000 youth under age 21 die from motor vehicle crashes, other unintentional injuries, and homicides and suicides that involve underage drinking.

For further information on these laws or about how to monitor your teen, visit or contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067.