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'Cool' Parents Beware: Sobering Facts About Teen Drinking

An expert explains what you need to know about Maryland law before you—or your kids—entertain in your home.

The latest post in the The Annapolis DUI and Criminal Defense Blog addresses whether parents can be held liable for underage drinking. Photo Credit: Getty
The latest post in the The Annapolis DUI and Criminal Defense Blog addresses whether parents can be held liable for underage drinking. Photo Credit: Getty

Most parents are strict when it comes to enforcing a no-alcohol policy with their kids but they may still end up in a situation in which teens are drinking in their home.

Attorney Drew Cochran addresses where parents stand legally when teens drink alcohol in the blog post: Can Parents Be Held Liable for Underage Drinking In Maryland?

He recalled being a teen and going to a friend's house where the "cool" parents permitted partying in the basement.

"They justified their progressive parenting style by claiming, 'Teens will drink and experiment with drugs – at least we know they’re safe under our roof,'" Cochran wrote. "It was a long time ago and the world was different, people were different and underage drinking laws were different."

Before you—or your kids—entertain in your home, it's important to understand the social host liability statute.

"In the State of Maryland, this statute not only applies to minors, but extends to the intoxication of adult guests as well," wrote Cochran.

The blog details a variety of possible scenarios and prevention tips to protect everyone involved.

"Essentially, if you serve alcohol (or turn a blind eye to teens drinking on your property) and someone is injured or killed as a direct result of your lack of supervision, you could potentially face legal and financial liability and, in more serious cases, criminal negligence," according to Cochran.

Click here to read the full blog post for additional information.

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