By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Un-cool kids everywhere are feeling sorry for the Washington state high school student who called the police on his own beer party when it got out of hand, leading to the arrest of 27 kids who will undoubtedly be waiting for him after school. Hard to regain social standing after that, although he probably wouldn’t be allowed to go out with his zero friends anyway given the lifetime grounding he undoubtedly got from his parents when they returned from the trip they were on at the time of the shindig.
But can his parents – or you, as parents – be held liable for a teen’s drinking party?
State laws vary but if you serve minors, you’ll be held criminally and civilly liable.
Where you don’t serve but know about a party at your house, depending on the state law, you may or may not face criminal charges but will have to pay for any damage caused to people or property because of the underage drinking that occurred at your home.
Where a party is held at your house and you didn’t know and didn’t have reason to know about the party, you likely will not be held liable but proving that you neither knew nor had reason to know is not so easy, especially when you think back on the things you did in high school to be popular.