Social hosting laws in Washington target parents instead of teens
Teenagers should be aware of the consequences that come from underage drinking.
October 30, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Social hosting laws in Washington target parents instead of teens
Article provided by Twyford Law Office
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Drinking alcohol is a commonplace activity at many parties that Spokane County teenagers attend. Although it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol in the U.S., 11% of the total amount of alcohol consumed in the country is done by individuals ranging between the ages of 12 to 20, say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are many legal, health and safety consequences of underage drinking.
The parent's role in prevention
A survey conducted in 2010 researched the role of alcohol amongst Washington State residents that were either in the 6th, 8th, 10th or 12th grades. This 2010 Healthy Youth Survey found that approximately one out of every three eighth graders surveyed thought that alcohol was a substance that was easily obtainable.
A parent can play a large role in a teenager's access to alcohol. To prevent parents from willingly giving their children alcohol to consume at parties and at home, many states throughout the U.S. have enacted social hosting liability laws, Washington included. Social hosting laws make it so that adults are the ones legally responsible for giving alcohol to anyone under 21 years old.
According to Washington law, it is illegal for anyone to sell, give or supply a teenager with alcohol. It is also illegal for parents to allow their teens to drink on their property even if they would have given them permission to do so otherwise. Adults that are charged with fostering underage drinking are subject to a fine of up to $5,000 and time in jail. Parents that host a party for their teen at their home should always be present during the party and make sure that alcohol is not brought to the party by other attendees.
The consequences of teenage drinking
Although many teenagers will still find a way to obtain and consume alcohol despite social hosting laws, they should be aware of the consequences that come from underage drinking. Some of the consequences of underage drinking include:
-Problems in school, such as lower grades and missing more school days
-Fighting, not being engaged in youth activities and other social issues
-Being subject to hangovers and other illnesses
-Life-long and permanent effects on brain development
-Issues with memory
-Being at a higher risk for suicide and homicide
In addition to this list, the CDC also states that teenagers who start to drink before they reach the age of 15 are five times more likely than those who began drinking at age 21 to develop a dependence on alcohol or abuse these substances.
If you are a parent that is being charged for supplying minors with alcohol or allowing teenagers to drink on your property, consult with an experienced criminal law attorney that can fight for your rights in a court of law.
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