Underage Drinking

Prohibitions Against Hosting Underage Drinking Parties

Laws that impose liability against individuals (social hosts) responsible for underage drinking events on property they own, lease, or otherwise control.

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Jurisdiction Policies as of Specific to
Underage
Parties
Action by
Underage
Guest
Property Type Knowledge
Standard
Preventative
Action
Negates
Violation
Exceptions Citations
Res. Outdoor Other Family Resident
AL (Alabama)

Alabama's provision requires that the adult social host be in attendance at the gathering or party in order for a violation to occur. The "preventive action" provision in Alabama requires the prosecution to prove that the host failed to take preventive action.

1/1/2017SpecificPossession ConsumptionYes YesKnowledgeYes  1 Citations
AK (Alaska)
1/1/2017GeneralPossessionYes  Knowledge Yes 3 Citations
AZ (Arizona)

Arizona's social host provision applies to gatherings of two or more underage persons on unlicensed premises, where the person charged knows or should know that one or more of the underage persons is in possession of or consuming spirituous liquor.

1/1/2017SpecificPossession ConsumptionYesYesYesNegligence YesYes1 Citations
AR (Arkansas)

Arkansas's social host provision applies only to a person who is present and in control of the private property at the time the consumption occurs.

1/1/2017GeneralConsumptionYesYesYesKnowledge Yes 2 Citations
CA (California)

As of January 1, 2004, a California statute imposes social host liability in circumstances that are more limited than for other laws included in this table. The California law applies only if the underage person is under 18 years old, has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 percent or greater, was permitted to drive a vehicle, and was found to have caused a traffic collision while driving. See Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 25658.2.

1/1/2017      No Law
1 Citations
CO (Colorado)
1/1/2017      No Law
CT (Connecticut)

The "preventive action" provision in Connecticut requires the prosecution to prove that the host failed to take preventive action.

Effective October 1, 2012, Connecticut permits prosecution of a person who "knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence" permits a minor to possess alcoholic liquor. See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 30-89a. When a statute specifies more than one level of knowledge that may suffice for a social host offense, APIS codes to the lowest or least demanding of such levels.

1/1/2017GeneralPossessionYesYesYesCriminal NegligenceYesYes 3 Citations
DE (Delaware)
1/1/2017      No Law
DC (District of Columbia)
1/1/2017      No Law
FL (Florida)

The "preventive action" provision in Florida requires the prosecution to prove that the host failed to take preventive action.

1/1/2017SpecificPossession ConsumptionYes  KnowledgeYes  1 Citations
GA (Georgia)
1/1/2017      No Law
HI (Hawaii)
1/1/2017GeneralPossessionYesYesYesRecklessness Yes 2 Citations
ID (Idaho)
1/1/2017      No Law
IL (Illinois)

Under 235 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6-16(d), a person commits a social host offense by renting a hotel or motel room for the purpose of or with the knowledge that such room shall be used for the consumption of alcoholic liquor by underage persons.

1/1/2017GeneralConsumption  YesOvert Act   1 Citations
IL (Illinois)

Beginning January 1, 2013, under 235 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6-16(a-1), a person commits a social host offense if one is a parent or guardian and permits one's residence, or any other property under one’s control, to be used by an underage invitee of one's child or ward in a manner that violates the statute. An offense is deemed to have occurred if a parent or guardian knowingly authorizes or permits the prohibited use to occur. As of January 1, 2015, Illinois includes any vehicle, conveyance, or watercraft within this offense.

1/1/2017GeneralConsumptionYesYesYesKnowledge Yes 2 Citations
IL (Illinois)

Beginning January 1, 2013, an individual will not be in violation of 235 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6-16(c) if he or she requests assistance from a law enforcement agency to help end the possession or consumption of alcohol by persons under the age of 21 in a residence that he or she occupies. This assistance must be requested before any other person makes a formal complaint to a law enforcement agency about the activity.

1/1/2017GeneralPossession ConsumptionYes  KnowledgeYesYesYes2 Citations
IN (Indiana)
1/1/2017GeneralConsumptionYesYesYesKnowledge   2 Citations
IA (Iowa)

Iowa's social host statute only applies to possession or consumption by persons under the age of 18. This law does not apply to a landlord or manager of the property.

1/1/2017GeneralPossession ConsumptionYesYesYesKnowledge Yes 1 Citations
KS (Kansas)

As of May 24, 2007, Kansas's "unlawful hosting" provision applies to possession or consumption by minors, which is any person under 21 years of age. Prior to May 24, 2007, Kansas's "unlawful hosting" provision only applied to possession or consumption by persons under the age of 18.

1/1/2017SpecificPossession ConsumptionYesYesYesRecklessness YesYes4 Citations
KY (Kentucky)
1/1/2017      No Law
LA (Louisiana)
1/1/2017      No Law
ME (Maine)
1/1/2017GeneralPossession ConsumptionYesYesYesKnowledge Yes 1 Citations
MD (Maryland)
1/1/2017GeneralPossession ConsumptionYesYesYesKnowledge Yes 5 Citations
MA (Massachusetts)
1/1/2017GeneralPossessionYesYesYesKnowledge Yes 2 Citations
MI (Michigan)

Michigan's social host statute does not apply if all individuals attending the social gathering are members of the same household or immediate family, or if a minor's use, consumption, or possession of an alcoholic beverage is for religious purposes. The "preventive action" provision in Michigan allows the prosecution to establish guilt by proving that the host failed to take preventive action.

1/1/2017SpecificPossession ConsumptionYesYesYesKnowledgeYesYesYes1 Citations
MN (Minnesota)
1/1/2017      No Law
MS (Mississippi)
1/1/2017SpecificPossession ConsumptionYesYesYesKnowledge Yes 3 Citations
MO (Missouri)
1/1/2017GeneralPossession ConsumptionYesYesYesKnowledgeYesYes 2 Citations
MT (Montana)
1/1/2017      No Law
NE (Nebraska)
1/1/2017      No Law
NV (Nevada)
1/1/2017      No Law
NH (New Hampshire)

In New Hampshire, an "underage alcohol house party" means a gathering of five or more people under the age of 21 at any occupied structure, dwelling, or curtilage, where at least one person under the age of 21 unlawfully possesses or consumes an alcoholic beverage. A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if he or she owns or has control of the occupied structure, dwelling, or curtilage where an underage alcohol house party is held and he or she knowingly commits an overt act in furtherance of the occurrence of the underage alcohol house party knowing persons under the age of 21 possess or intend to consume alcoholic beverages. The "preventive action" provision in New Hampshire allows the defendant to avoid criminal liability by establishing, as an affirmative defense, that he or she took preventive action with respect to the underage alcohol house party.

1/1/2017SpecificIntention Possession ConsumptionYesYesYesOvert ActYesYes 3 Citations
NJ (New Jersey)
1/1/2017GeneralConsumptionYesYesYesOvert Act Yes 1 Citations
NM (New Mexico)
1/1/2017      No Law
NY (New York)
1/1/2017      No Law
NC (North Carolina)
1/1/2017      No Law
ND (North Dakota)
1/1/2017      No Law
OH (Ohio)

In addition to the restrictions imposed on owners or occupants of public or private places, Ohio's provision regarding property states that no person shall engage or use accommodations at a hotel, inn, cabin, campground, or restaurant when the person knows or has reason to know that beer or intoxicating liquor will be consumed by an underage person on the premises. Owners or occupants of public or private places are held to a knowledge standard, while those who engage or use accommodations at a hotel, inn, cabin, campground, or restaurant are held to a negligence standard.

1/1/2017GeneralPossession ConsumptionYesYesYesKnowledge Yes 1 Citations
OH (Ohio)

In addition to the restrictions imposed on owners or occupants of public or private places, Ohio's provision regarding property states that no person shall engage or use accommodations at a hotel, inn, cabin, campground, or restaurant when the person knows or has reason to know that beer or intoxicating liquor will be consumed by an underage person on the premises. Owners or occupants of public or private places are held to a knowledge standard, while those who engage or use accommodations at a hotel, inn, cabin, campground, or restaurant are held to a negligence standard.

1/1/2017GeneralConsumption  YesNegligence Yes 1 Citations
OK (Oklahoma)
1/1/2017GeneralPossession ConsumptionYesYesYesKnowledge  Yes3 Citations
OR (Oregon)

Oregon's social host provision states that its prohibitions apply only to a person who is present and in control of the location at the time underage consumption occurs.

1/1/2017GeneralConsumptionYesYesYesKnowledge Yes 1 Citations
PA (Pennsylvania)
1/1/2017GeneralPossessionYesYesYesKnowledge   2 Citations
RI (Rhode Island)
1/1/2017GeneralConsumptionYesYes Knowledge Yes 3 Citations
SC (South Carolina)
1/1/2017GeneralPossession Consumption  YesOvert Act   4 Citations
SD (South Dakota)

The "preventive action" provision in South Dakota allows the defendant to avoid criminal liability by establishing, as an affirmative defense, that immediately upon learning of the illegal consumption, he or she took action to stop the illegal consumption and to secure the contraband alcoholic beverages.

1/1/2017SpecificConsumptionYesYesYesKnowledgeYes  6 Citations
TN (Tennessee)

Social host liability in Tennessee is limited to an owner, occupant or other person having a lawful right to the exclusive use and enjoyment of property to knowingly allow an "underage adult" to consume alcoholic beverages, wine or beer on the property . An "underage adult" is defined as a person who is at least 18 years of age but less than 21 years of age. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-15-404

1/1/2017GeneralConsumptionYesYesYesKnowledge   3 Citations
TX (Texas)
1/1/2017      No Law
UT (Utah)

In Utah, an individual may not knowingly conduct, aid, or allow an "underage drinking gathering." An “underage drinking gathering” means a gathering of two or more individuals: (a) at which an individual knowingly serves, aids in the service of, or allows the service of an alcoholic beverage to an underage person; and (b) to which an emergency response provider is required to respond, except for a response related solely to providing medical care at the location of the gathering. The definition does not otherwise specify a Property Type or an Action by Underage Guest.

1/1/2017SpecificYesYesYesKnowledge   5 Citations
VT (Vermont)
1/1/2017      No Law
VA (Virginia)
1/1/2017      No Law
WA (Washington)
1/1/2017GeneralConsumptionYesYesYesNegligence Yes 1 Citations
WV (West Virginia)
1/1/2017      No Law
WI (Wisconsin)

The "preventive action" provision in Wisconsin allows the prosecution to establish guilt by proving that the host failed to take preventive action.

1/1/2017GeneralConsumptionYesYesYesKnowledgeYes  1 Citations
WY (Wyoming)

Wyoming's social host statute only applies to possession or consumption by persons under the age of 18. Wyoming has attached a furnishing exception to its social host statute. See Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-4-406(b)(i). APIS has not interpreted this provision as providing an exception to the social host prohibition, only to the act of furnishing.

1/1/2017SpecificPossession ConsumptionYesYesYesKnowledge   3 Citations
US ( United States)
1/1/2017      No Law