Parents, kids and neighborhood drinking parties

Do you know what the penalty is for parents hosting a party and serving alcohol to underage teens? Here’s a hint: it’s not much.

The DMN published a lengthy story about a couple of adults (the guy was an intramural hockey coach for many of the teens) who hosted an 18th birthday party at their house for one teen, who according to the story drank “three beers, three rum and Cokes, two Sprite and vodkas, one glass of wine and two shots of vodka over five hours. Later, he downed two more beers and another shot of vodka.” Then the teen got in a car, drove down the wrong side of a road and killed a 22-year-old father headed for work.

The penalty: 10 years’ probation for the teen and two years probation for the party hosts after pleading guilty to furnishing alcohol to a minor. According to an anti-drug activist, the law is strict but the application isn’t.

Meanwhile, in Carrollton, police there shut down drinking parties in their city by trolling Facebook and other social networking sites to find upcoming parties being touted by teens, then visiting the party address prior to the party to see if the property owners know the plan. Parents who were out of town were warned; parents who didn’t know what their kids were up to generally decided to confront their kid and shut the party down.

Those of us with kids know there are parents out there who think providing alcohol to teens at their house is one way to keep “kids from being kids” on the road. I don’t subscribe to that thought process, but I understand it. I’ve just never understood why those parents don’t think ahead to that one time when some boozed-up kid they served gets out of the house and hurts or kills someone (see above DMN-reported scenario).


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