Some parents in Connecticut take a cynical view of teen drinking. They figure that teens are going to drink anyway, so they might as well provide their children and their friends with alcohol in their home where they can keep an eye on them rather than have them sneak around behind the parents' backs.
When you host your friends for a backyard BBQ in Connecticut, you may only think about the fun you will have. However, if you serve alcohol, it is important to make sure your guests do not drive drunk. At Loughlin Fitzgerald, P.C., we know it is important for you to understand your duties as a social host.
When your teenager approaches you with an enthusiastic request to plan a party for his or her friends at your home in Connecticut, your initial response may be a resounding, "No." However, after hearing all of your child's negotiation tactics, you are considering whether or not you can help pull off a party that is both fun and safe. Because so much of the responsibility of protecting your child and his or her guests falls on your shoulders, it is helpful to be equipped with ideas of how you can facilitate a good time without allowing dangerous behavior to compromise everyone's safety.
Many Connecticut parents may think they do not need to discuss alcohol with their kids until the children are ready to enter high school. However, underage drinking is not something parents should take lightly, and it is a good idea for them to talk about alcohol early on so their kids fully understand the potential dangers.
With St. Patrick's Day just around the corner, Connecticut bartenders and their owners should brush up on their knowledge of the state's dram shop laws, as doing so can keep them from assuming liability for an intoxicated person's harmful actions. According to Law.com, the Dram Shop Act is a case law which 38 states have adopted. The act makes it so any business that sells alcoholic beverages, or any host who serves alcoholic drinks, to a person who is obviously intoxicated or close to it, is strictly liable for any harms the intoxicated person causes.
In Connecticut, adults in a home may be responsible for what the underage children are doing. If alcohol or drugs is involved, even if the parents did not have it in the home, and it is a visitor who brings the substance, the adults could legally be liable.
You probably already know that the legal drinking age in Connecticut is 21, and perhaps you know that the same limit applies in all 50 states. The federal regulation that set the minimum drinking age at 21 nationwide may be more recent than you realize, however. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Minimum Drink Age Act has only been in effect for 34 years after it passed in 1984. The National Minimum Drinking Age Act not only made it illegal for minors to purchase alcoholic beverages, but it also made it illegal for them to possess alcohol in public. Nevertheless, almost one quarter, 9.3 million or 24.3 percent, of Americans age 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol during the previous month on the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
At Loughlin Fitzgerald PC, we understand that underage drinking poses a significant ongoing problem in Connecticut and across the nation. But did you know that you could be held legally responsible if you allow your child or his or her friends to possess alcohol at your home?
Whether it's for fun, for the holidays, or for celebrations, it's not uncommon to find people throwing parties in Connecticut. Sometimes, drinking may be involved. There might even be minors drinking, which some households allow for during the holidays and so on. How does social liability tie into that?
As you may know, it can be hard to say no to a lot of things. You might have grown up learning that you can only be successful and well-liked if you agree to do what is asked of you, even if you feel pressured into doing something you find morally or legally wrong. However, you and other Connecticut residents can get into trouble if you don’t learn to say no to some things, especially when it comes to alcohol.