Muir Wood therapist, David Laing

Is Your Son Drinking at Your House? You’re Responsible

The summer months are the most common time for teenagers to drink alcohol, but if it’s happening at your house, then you are liable for what happens afterward—even if it’s not your child who was drinking, you didn’t supply the alcohol, and/or you didn’t even know it was happening. Law enforcement is cracking down on the ill effects of teenage drinking, and parents are part of the equation.

What Am I Liable For?

Different states have different laws, but depending upon a number of variables—like whether or not the adult owners of the house where the party occurred gave the kids alcohol, or whether or not the kids who threw the party charged guests for admission—you could face a judge on different charges. These are called “social hosting laws,” and they are different in every state.

For example, in California, there are no specific social hosting laws, but if an adult gives alcohol to someone under the age of 21 they can be held accountable in court for any damages suffered by that person or anyone at else due to that person’s drinking.

In Connecticut, on the other hand, it is illegal for any company or person to supply someone under the age of 21 with alcohol on private property or elsewhere—no matter what the relationship of those people or the cause for drinking.

Isn’t It Safer for My Son to Drink at My House if He’s Going to Drink?

This is a commonly shared opinion among many parents, but the research on alcohol use and abuse among teens doesn’t support the veracity of this statement.  In fact, the opposite is true. Because the teen brain is still developing, any use of alcohol or other drugs can be detrimental. Additionally, if a parent seems complicit with alcohol use, it may encourage the teen to:

  • Drink more than he would have otherwise
  • Drink when away from home
  • Drink when parents are not at home
  • Try other drugs

Parental opinions on alcohol and drug use impact teen choices greatly. Even if parents believe it may be safer to allow their children to drink at home so that they aren’t out somewhere and at risk for driving under the influence, the fact is that a permissive environment is one of the biggest risk factors for the development of an alcohol abuse or addiction problem in adulthood.

Help Your Son Stop Drinking Today

Parents have the single most impact on the decisions that their children make. If your son is drinking, you can help him stop immediately. Contact us at Muir Wood today and learn more about our teen rehab program for boys and how we can help your son and your family to begin the healing process today.