Doug / 06-01-2012 / Auto Accidents

When Adults Serve Alcohol to Teens, They Become Liable Too

On Monday, we began discussing the number of annual alcohol-related fatalities involving victims under the age of 21 that occur across the county during the three months that are considered prom and graduation season. The video above from NBC’s “Today” deals with another contributing factor in that issue: Parents who provide alcohol to their teenagers.

While many parents throughout the United States believe that they are ensuring that their teenagers are safer by consuming alcohol at home rather than doing so at another location and then driving home, allowing underage alcohol consumption can have consequences for the parents. Again, because we are entering a time of the year in which there will be homeowners hosting graduation parties where alcohol is provided, it is important for parents to remember that they may be held liable under Florida’s social host laws if a minor or other intoxicated guest is involved in a motor vehicle accident that injures a third party.

Parents may try a variety of techniques to attempt to control minors driving drunk, such as taking away car keys or insisting that all guests stay for the night, but homeowners can lose control of these circumstances rather quickly. The safest route adults can take is to never knowingly serve alcohol to any minors under any circumstances. Parents need to ask themselves if efforts to appease their teenagers and their friends by providing alcohol is really worth the possibility of being liable for thousands of dollars in civil or criminal fines.

Wooten Kimbrough, P.A. – Orlando personal injury attorneys

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