Underage Drinking & the Law

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

Stunning victory for defense in Terri Serra case; Judge also delays constitutionality ruling, again

Rhode Island Fourth District Court Judge Mary McCaffrey ruled that former Chariho School Committee member Terri Serra was not guilty of “failure to render aid” at the scene of a car accident involving four minors Serra had found drinking and ejected from her property earlier that October 2011 night. McCaffrey announced she will rule on the second charge of Social Hosting, under the state’s Social Host statute of providing alcohol to minors or permitting minors to consume alcohol, in December. Serra’s attorney, Robert Mann, had filed a memorandum of law challenging the constitutionality of the state’s Social Host law on October 15. This is the second time that Judge McCaffrey has delayed ruling on Mann’s challenge to the law. Both sides met in court on November 15 and McCaffrey had pushed the decision to today. She has asked the prosecution to present arguments in December.

To learn more:

Serra’s attorney debates law’s constitutionality Socialhostlaw.com March 4, 2012

Judge acquits former Chariho school board member of failing to render assistance at teen crash Providence Journal November 30, 2012

Partial verdict in social host case NBC 10 News November 30, 2012

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