Social Host Laws and Prom Time

Posted on: May 8th, 2017 by Agent Mark No Comments


This morning the office talk turned to prom time. The group was a bunch of guys so the usual hair, dress and nail discussions were not the topics! The topic was the “after party”.

The proms and the parties are a right of passage for both kids and parents.

We know that “after parties” or any teen party for that matter is tricky.

At Herlihy Insurance Group we thought this may be a good time to share the Mass laws on underage drinking.

Am I breaking the law if I allow my child’s underage guests to consume alcohol in my home?

Yes. The legal drinking age in Massachusetts is 21. It is against the law to serve or provide alcohol to underage guests or to allow them to drink alcohol in your home or on other property you control. If you do, you may be prosecuted criminally. The penalty is a fine of up to $2,000, imprisonment for up to a year, or both. M.G.L. c. 138, s. 34

Can I be sued if my child or an underage guest at my home drinks alcohol and injures someone?

Yes. You may be financially responsible if your child or underage guest injures another person (or himself) after having consumed alcohol, if you controlled the supply of the alcohol, made it available, or served it. Civil judgments can be for millions of dollars.

What if my child allows underage guests to drink or possess alcohol at my home or other property I control?

You or your child may be charged criminally. For you to be found guilty under the Social Host Law, the Commonwealth must prove that you or your child knowingly or intentionally supplied, gave, provided, or allowed minors to possess alcohol at your home or other property you controlled. You or your child may also be sued civilly.

Does the Social Host Law apply if I rent a hotel room for my daughter’s party?

Yes, since you control the hotel room, the Social Host Law applies. M.G.L. c. 138, s. 34

We wish all our friends and families a safe prom season. Keep them safe.

Looking for more information?  Click here.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.