Adults hosting teen parties can be liable for accidents

Now that summer is here, many people in Maryland are throwing parties to enjoy the great weather. A good deal of these parties will be hosted by adults to welcome the end of the school year for their students, especially those graduating from high school. While there is nothing wrong with having some beginning-of-summer fun, we run into problems when an adult furnishes alcohol for underage people.

Any adult who hosts such a party, and even homeowners who are not on the property at the time it occurs or who were not the ones who provided the alcohol, can be held liable for any injury or accident that happens on the premises. Additionally, providing alcohol to minors is breaking the law, and anyone doing so can face criminal charges.

A person who provides alcohol to teens can face driver’s license suspension, fines, and jail time. He or she may face other penalties, such as increased homeowner’s insurance, liability for property damage, and responsibility for the medical bills of anyone injured on the property.

Adults who are considering hosting a party with alcohol that will be accessible to underage drinkers should consider the lifelong implications that can happen. Are a few hours of fun worth the consequences if someone is seriously injured or killed?

Providing a place for teens to party with alcohol can result in a multitude of legal and criminal consequences. This summer, keep in mind the safety of the teens you care about. Make smart choices about the type of place you provide for them to hang out, as well as setting a good example, knowing where they’re staying, and what’s going on when they’re out with their friends.

Source:, “Group Urges Caution in Hosting Teen Parties,” June 9, 2013

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