Ohio's Social Host Law
37% of students who reported consuming alcohol in the past 30 days said they got it from a parent, and teens overwhelmingly report that they most often drink at house parties. Alcohol may seem harmless in comparison to other drugs, but underage drinking comes with risks, not only for the underage drinker, but for the hosting parent too.
Do you know about Ohio's Social Host Law?
The law states, “No person who is the owner or occupant of any public or private place shall knowingly allow any underage person to remain in or on the premises while possessing or consuming beer or intoxicating liquor, unless the intoxicating liquor or beer is given to the person possessing or consuming it by that person’s parent, spouse who is not an underage person, or legal guardian, unless the parent, spouse who is not an underage person, or legal guardian is present at the time of the person’s possession or consumption of the beer or intoxicating liquor.”
In other words, parents who provide alcohol to their teen’s friends, or even just allow it, even in their own homes, are breaking the law. And the penality can be stiff.
What parents should know:
- As a parent, you cannot give alcohol to your teen's friends under the age of 21 under any circumstance, even in your own home, even with their parent's permission.
- You cannot knowlingly allow a person under 21, other than your own child, to remain in your home or on your property while consuming or posessing alcohol.
If you break the law:
- You can face a maximum sentence of six months in jail and/or a $1000 fine.
- Others can sue you if you give alcohol to anyone under 21, and they, in turn, hurt someone, hurt themselves or damage property.
- Officers can take any alcohol, money or property used in committing the offense.
Things you can do as a parent:
- Refuse to supply alcohol to anyone under 21.
- Be at home when your teen has a party.
- Make sure that alcohol is not brought into your home or property by your teen's friends.
- Talk to other parents about not providing alcohol at other events your child will be attending.
- Create alcohol-free opportunities and activities in your home so teens will feel welcome.
- Report underage drinking to local law enforcement.