New County Law Holds Parents Accountable for Underage Parties at Their Homes
Hamburg, NY (WBEN) As prom and graduation season draw near, parents are being put on notice: if they knowingly provide alcohol for minors at their parties, they will be held accountable.
“Allowing minors, who are not your children, to drink under your supervision is dangerous and irresponsible. These young people are not capable of handling the risks involved with drinking, and as adults we need to be responsible for keeping them safe,” said Legislator Lynne Dixon. “This time of year, especially, with prom and graduation, teens are at a higher risk of attending an underage drinking party. The consequences of these social events can be serious. As parents, we need to come together to protect not only our own children but those who come onto our property. This law simply makes property owners responsible for the activities that happen at their home to ensure we are taking every precaution to keep teens safe.”
The adopted, “Social Host Law” makes adults accountable for their actions in the event that minors were drinking on their property. This applies to situations where parents were present, as well as incidents where the parent was away but had knowledge that teens would be drinking on their property.
Offenders of the law will be charged with a violation and fined $250 for the first offense and $500 for the second offense. On the third and subsequent offenses, offenders could be charged with a misdemeanor fined $1,000 or jailed for up to a year.
The local law still needs authorization from the County Executive. Following his expected approval, the law will go into effect immediately.