Underage Drinking & the Law

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

MA Supreme Court rules no liability for minor hosts

John Adams Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts...After battling six lawsuits over more than four-and-a-half years after throwing a BYOB party, a family is free from litigation by their guests. In a ruling with potential for far-reaching impact on Massachusetts’ Social Host civil statute, the state’s Supreme Judicial Court ruled against “extending a duty of care to an underage host who does not supply alcohol to underage guests, but provides a location where they are permitted to consume it.”

In other words, when Jessica Simpson (not the singer) threw a BYOB party on July 2, 2007, she avoided civil lability because she didn’t provide the alcohol. Her guests, Rachel Juliano, then 16, and her date, Christian Dunbar, then 19, drank the alcohol Dunbar provided. He drove away from the party and into a utility pole, injuring both. Juliano and her parents initiated a lawsuit against Simpson and her father.

Note that this ruling has no effect on the current criminal statutes against allowing minors to drink on your property, and its impact on civil liability is limited to minor hosts.

To learn more:

High court: Party hosts not liable for underage BYOB drinking

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Slip Opinion


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

RSS Latest News

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Video News

  • Video: Underage drinking a concern as college September 14, 2018
    A spokesperson with the University of Oregon said the start of the school season is when they give out the most minor in possession citations because this is when students are experimenting.
  • Video: Lifeline Law just as relevant; protecting underage rights August 22, 2018
    College campuses are buzzing with students again. This means this time of the year underage drinking can spike. Thankfully, there's protection for students and other young people with the Lifeline Law.
  • Video: Tip leads to arrest of teen on drug charges August 19, 2018
    CORUNNA, Ind. (WFFT) - An anonymous tip about an underage drinking party led police arresting a 19-year-old on various drug charges last Saturday. According to a release from police, officers arrested 19-year-old Blake Crager.
  • Video: Bar Regulations 07/05/2018 July 5, 2018
    Oxford is changing a proposed ordinance to include more businesses, while trying to reduce underage drinking.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow us on Twitter

%d bloggers like this: