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Your legal liability with underage drinking

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2022 | Liquor Liability / Drunk Driving Accident Liability

College football is pretty much a religion in the South, and Saturdays throughout the fall are for parties and gameday celebrations.

If you are hosting a party, there are several things to keep in mind when serving alcohol.

Alcohol laws and minors

In Alabama, the legal drinking age is 21. This means an individual cannot consume alcohol either publicly or in a private home, even if a parent gives permission. Not only will the minor end up in serious trouble, but homeowners bear some responsibility for the situation as well. There are two situations that make homeowners responsible for a minor consuming alcohol.

Legal liability for underage drinking

If you hold a house party and you allow minors to consume alcohol, you are legally responsible if injuries occur during intoxication under the Alabama Civil Damages Act. You are also responsible if an intoxicated minor injures another person or damages property. A lawsuit could come from the parents of the intoxicated minor, the children of an injured intoxicated minor or anyone hurt by the intoxicated minor. A good example is an intoxicated minor driving home from the party and causing an accident with injuries.

Under the Alabama Open House Party Law, a homeowner or adult party guest could face charges for the crime of allowing an underage individual to consume alcohol or use a controlled substance while on their property. Charges require both knowledge and inaction, which means the individual knew illegal activity occurred and yet did nothing to stop or prevent it.

Underage drinking is illegal in Alabama, even in the privacy of your home. If found guilty, both the minor and involved adults can face criminal charges.