Weigh In: Parent-hosted Drinking Parties

There has been some buzz recently about laws being passed that allow parents to be charged with a crime for hosting drinking parties for their underage teens. Though my kids are a long way off from this, I’m curious to know what the prevailing thoughts are out there…

Here are the arguments for and against:


  1. They’re going to drink anyway, I feel it’s more responsible to provide an environment for them to do it where I can control it.
  2. Studies have shown that 75% of teens have at least tried alcohol.
  3. Proponents of this approach say that the issue is about safety and responsibility.


  1. Studies have also shown that kids who have parents with a strong anti-drinking message still try alcohol at a rate of 33%. But kids of parents with a lax drinking message do so at 89%.
  2. Studies also show that, while 75% of kids have “tried” alcohol, only 50% “drank alcohol in the last 30 days.”
  3. Opponents of home drinking parties wonder, if “they’re going to do it anyway” is the primary reason, why you would stop at providing alcohol? Why not provide condoms and IUD’s for sex parties? Why not provide cigarettes or marijuana?

So… what do you think?

Read more:
[An article from the Chicago Sun-Times]
[An article from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle]
[An article from the New York Daily News]


  1. While I am not a parent – I must admit I do not think I would allow my underage kids to drink at home or engage in parties and let other teens drink at my home – how do you get the parental consent for the other kids? How do you know that they still won’t get into trouble (spare keys/hangovers etc). No – I am with the law on this one and prefer to let the teens who do drink suffer the consequences of their actions outside the home – now I may think differently if I had had a significant event with alcohol that resulted in an accident or death, but for the most part I don’t abuse alcohol and thank my parents for raising me the way they did. – Marjie Cota

  2. I think that kids have enough bad influences without having parents be one. I think that as parents we have the responsibility to enforce the law,it teaches respect for the law.Kev

  3. You’re actually taking a poll as to whether is is justifiable to be a law-breaker? Yikes. Get some backbone. Underage drinking is illegal. Don’t support/endorse/encourage it in any way and that includes being a parent who would rather be a buddy than the authority figure. Parents who don’t set rules for their kids should be ashamed of themselves. Breaking the law is never okay, even in the name of making your kids think you’re cool. They won’t think you’re cool. They’ll think you’re a pushover loser. Set some boundaries. They’ll respect you more in the long run.

  4. I say have the underage drinking parties but with safety standards. First an liability insurance policy for 5 mile radius be in place. Certified Law Officer per 30 in attendance be in place. Ambulance on site. Parents bring and pick up participants also a document and waiver giving their permission for child to attend. Parents must also give $100 deposit to cover possible situations (refundable). Since it is common knowledge that the boys in attendance are there to drink and hopefully at least suck face – that all in attendance male and female must display a condom on their person, such as a ID badge – clip on or chain is okay. *Parents of child are responsible for cleaning up puke.*No cell phones allowed. TB from Terre Haute

  5. I’m a father of three daughters and would never, under any circumstance allow this sort of thing at our house. I know of several parents that do and based on reliable sources they’re very upset they allowed it to begin with in the first place. It sends the wrong message and leaves the “brainless” hosts open to all sorts of liabilities. I’m going to ask a lawyer friend of mine to blow the smoke off this issue very soon. Children desperately need boundaries not an invitation to promiscuous freedom.Saw your blog on Bloggy Awards and wanted to visit. I’ll be back again. Wonderful and contraversial post. Keep it up, it will ultimately benefit the kids. And they are soooo worth it.~mm

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