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Alcohol and Your Teenager

Underage drinking is a serious issue in Plano, Dallas and throughout the state of Texas, but it’s also a major problem in all states. Over time, law enforcement has come to realize that the problem increases during certain times, such as prom, Spring Break, and high school graduations.

A lot of parents think that underage drinking is a part of growing up, so their way of dealing with it is by allowing their teenagers to drink at home because they think it’s the safest way to reach a compromise with their teens.

What some parents don’t realize is that Texas holds adults responsible if they furnish alcohol to teens. If an adult serves or gives alcohol to someone who is under the age of 21, the adult can be held liable if the underage drinker is injured or killed.

Adults can also be held responsible if they allow a minor to drink in their home and the teenager subsequently injures or kills another person.

Civil Liability for Parents

If a parent/adult knowingly provides alcohol to a minor, or if they knowingly allow alcohol to be served to minors (under 18) on a property that they own or lease, they can be held civilly liable for any damages caused by a minor’s intoxication.

The adult or parent can be held liable if the impaired minor:

  • Is injured or killed as a result of drinking on their property,
  • Is sexually assaulted, gets into a fight, or injures themselves or another person,
  • Damages someone else’s property, or
  • Leaves the property and is involved in a DWI accident, injuring themselves or someone else.

Under Texas law, adults and parents should be aware that they are responsible for minors’ safety while they are on their property and under their care or control; underage drinking is no exception.

Can parents give their children alcohol?

In Texas, a parent, legal guardian, or spouse can give their child alcohol, even if they are under 18 as long as the parent is present when the minor consumes the alcoholic beverage. However, only parents can provide alcohol to their own children.

It is illegal for other adults and people under 21 to provide alcohol to people who are under the age of 21, even if they have the parent’s permission and they’re in their own home.

We hope this information helps you better understand Texas’ laws about teens and alcohol. If you or your teenager is facing alcohol-related charges, contact our Plano criminal defense firm today!