Supplying alcohol to minors in New Jersey can lead to criminal consequences if you are not careful. It is illegal to supply alcohol to minors. Many parents are aware of this but may allow their children and their friends to drink in the home.
This can pose significant risks to the teens but it can also lead to penalties for the adults as well. A social host or a parent who makes alcohol available or who serves it to guests under the age of 21 could face criminal penalties, including fines as high as $1,000 and up to six months in prison.
Additionally, any injuries or death that are tied to the drinking that occurs, such as a vehicle accident by a teenage driver under the influence of alcohol, could lead to a civil claim directly against those parents. Providing alcohol to minors in New Jersey is classified as a disorderly person’s offense but it can lead to a permanent criminal charge on the record of the parent if the person is convicted. In certain circumstances and depending on the individual’s criminal history, this could be expunged from their criminal record after five years, however, there may be other circumstances that apply. Anyone who serves, makes available, or purposely offers an alcoholic beverage to a person who is under the legal age for drinking them or entices that individual to consume an alcoholic beverage is considered a disorderly person.
This does not apply to situations in which a guardian or a parent is at least the legal age to enjoy alcoholic beverages or for the purposes of a religious ceremony, rite or observance. It is important for parents to be aware of the high stakes associated with making alcohol available to minors.
Criminal charges may apply and a lawyer should be hired to help.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.