Its graduation season. If parents let kids drink beer and wine at a party in a private home are they breaking the law?

We've all heard stories of the parents down the block who let their underage kids drink beer or wine at home. Every state has laws prohibiting selling or giving alcoholic beverages to minors. But the laws don't apply to kids who drink in their own home with their parent's permission. Parents have a special relationship with their own children and the right to make decisions about the way their children are brought up.

But it's altogether different if these same adults allow the friends of their children to drink alcoholic beverages in their home. They would be breaking the law by serving beer or wine even though it's at a party in a private home.

And if a minor leaves the party after drinking and gets into an accident the homeowner who hosted the party may be responsible for injury, wrongful death and property damages. Liquor store owners break the law if they sell alcoholic beverages to minors. Yet if a parent comes to buy a keg, or bottles of wine with the intent of serving minors at home the responsibility shifts from the store owner to the homeowner.

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