Boca Raton – Arrests Show How Florida’s ‘Open House Party’ Law Applies to Parents of Teens

Florida_teens_drinking.jpgEarlier this year, two sets of parents in Boca Raton were arrested and accused of hosting homecoming after-parties with alcohol for underage drinkers. Some underage drinkers were also arrested, and the parents said they either were not aware of the alcohol or weren’t able to control the mob of intoxicated teens who brought booze with them.

Florida’s “open house party” law went into effect in 1991, but many parents of juveniles say they aren’t aware of the law, which states that if anyone younger than 21 is caught drinking alcohol or using drugs at a party in your home or on your property, you could be arrested and charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. Violations of the “open house party” law are punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Beyond criminal penalties, there are also civil liabilities that can result in lawsuits. Parents can also be held liable if a drunk teenager causes property damage, sexual battery, injury or death to others or themselves during or after leaving the party.

Source: Many parents still don’t know of law against hosting underage drinking, South Florida Sun Sentinel, October 24, 2010
The Boca Raton criminal defense attorneys at Leifert & Leifert can answer your legal questions regarding the Florida “open house party” law, drunk driving, and other criminal issues. Contact us for a free initial case evaluation.

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