2011-06-04 / News

Penalties stiff for parents who host

COLUMBUS While Ohio high school seniors are graduating and preparing to embark on the next chapter of their lives, officials with the Ohio Investigative Unit are hoping the celebrations stay safe.

“This is a proud moment for many mothers and fathers, and celebrations are rightfully held to honor the graduate,” said Executive Director Robert W. Booker, Jr. “This is a jubilant time for family and friends, and we want it to be a safe graduation season for everyone and no lives are lost due to underage consumption of alcohol.”

Often parties are held at a home or at a rented facility. While many parties are quiet family affairs, in some situations parents may allow alcohol to be consumed, or they may not know party goers are drinking.

Agents want to remind liquor permit premises to watch for underage individuals attempting to purchase beer - often with a false identification. Clerks should also lookout for individuals 21 and over purchasing alcohol for a person who is not yet 21. In Ohio it is illegal to share in the cost of alcoholic beverages, or attempts to do so - even if the sale is refused.

Parents who are hosting a party for their child’s friends should also be aware of Ohio’s laws and how they could impact them. In the state of Ohio, parents cannot give alcohol to children under 21, who are not their own, even in their home with the other parents’ permission. Parents also cannot allow minors to consume alcohol in their home.

Anyone convicted of attempting to purchase alcohol as a minor, sharing in the cost, using false identification or furnishing alcohol to a minor may face a maximum sentence of six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

Anyone under 21 years of age who is caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration between .02 percent and .08 percent can be arrested. If convicted the individual could have his or her driver license suspended for at least 90 days, up to a maximum of two years. Also, four points would be added to his/her driving record.

Agents are asking for local hotels and reception halls to be vigilant and report underage drinking and parties to local authorities.

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