Underage Drinking & the Law

What parents need to know now about the new Social Host Laws

Happy Birthday Surprise 18-year-olds

Nassau County appeals court redefines adults as 18-years-old + 1 day.

Nassau County, at the heart of New York’s Long Island community, was not just the first NY county to pass a Social Host Law; their version far exceeds the strictures of many other SHLs in the state. On Monday, April 11, 2011, the “Appellate Term” (aka appeals court to you and me) has decided to interpret Nassau’s SHL even more broadly than it has been applied since 2007.

According to Attorney Oscar Michelen of law firm Cuomo LLC and founder of non-profit parental advice group The Law Squad™, the Nassau County law, “allows people to be arrested and charged even if they are younger than some of the other underage people drinking. It also makes homeowners responsible if they were unaware but  should have been aware that alcohol was being consumed by  those under 21.” And if the homeowner or the teenager at home alone does get arrested under the SHL, “your homeowners’ insurance company will likely disclaim coverage” if a guest, “gets hurt or hurts someone else and you get sued.”


To learn more:

Appeals Panel Upholds Applying Social Host Law to 18 Year Olds.- CourtroomStrategy.com – April 12, 2011 – Byline: Attorney Oscar Michelen

6 comments on “Happy Birthday Surprise 18-year-olds

  1. above the influence
    April 19, 2011

    I have heard Oscar speak and he is legitimately interested in educating and providing a public service.

    • H. M. Epstein
      April 19, 2011

      I’m glad to hear it. Thank you for writing about this. I think Michelen has a great deal of important information to share with NY parents. Perhaps we should ask him to post a link here to his schedule for the NY subscribers.

      Can you tell us about http://www.abovetheinfluence.com? It’s a beautifully designed site.

  2. Oscar Michelen
    April 13, 2011

    Thanks for the link to my article. I formed the Law Squad in 2007 after the death of four students in a car crash in my neighborhood. After the insurance company declined coverage to the driver’s family because the driver only had a junior license and was not supposed to be behind the wheel at the time, I assisted them in fighting the company (pro bono) and got the coverage for them. I realized that many parents are unaware of a variety of issues facing teens today and I formed the Law Squad, a not for profit organization. We bring judges, police officers physicians, etc to area high schools to discuss important topics. Its ALL VOLUNTEER and we never charge despite many schools offering to pay us a stipend. We visit about 15-20 high schools a year and provide alot of worthwhile information to folks for free. I know of no other organization like mine in NY State and am proud of what we provide.

    • H. M. Epstein
      April 13, 2011

      I agree with you that many parents are unaware of a host of serious legal issues their families face. We’re focusing on the wide range of civil and criminal legislation loosely called Social Host Laws because many are unconstitutionally broad in language and execution, and because they’re relatively new. The work you’re doing in New York is important and I invite you to comment freely on this site as you deem fit.

  3. JamMan16
    April 12, 2011

    Another cure that’s worse than the disease. I suspect any attorney that takes the time to trademark a name like “The Law Squad” is placing publicity and business over the common good.

    • H. M. Epstein
      April 13, 2011

      I’m not sure I understand why you believe “The Law Squad”‘s trademark means the attorney’s not interested in the public good. I’ve not seen him speak but it seems that he’s providing parents with strategies to avoid getting into trouble. Has anyone else seen Michelen speak?

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