Health Topics

What Parents of Teenagers Should Know About Alcohol

What Parents of Teenagers Should Know About Alcohol

The Law

  • You cannot give alcohol to your children's friends under 21 years of age under any circumstances, even in your own home and with their parents' permission.
  • You cannot knowingly allow a person less than 21 years of age to remain in your home or on your property while consuming or possessing alcoholic beverages.

If You Break the Law

  • You can face a maximum sentence of six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
  • Others can sue you if you give alcohol to anyone under 21 years of age and they, in turn, hurt someone or damage property.
  • Friends, neighbors, and acquaintances will call you an irresponsible person, or worse.

Prevention Is Key

  • Talk to your children about alcohol and the law.
  • Lock up all your alcohol, including beer, just as you would lock your car in a parking lot.
  • Be at home when your children have parties. Do not provide alcohol or allow drinking.
  • Call the police if you know of underage persons purchasing or consuming alcohol.


  • Parents' attitudes and behavior about alcohol influence the attitudes and behaviors of their children.
  • Twice as many teens and young adults die each year in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents than the number that died each year in combat during the Vietnam conflict.
  • Do not offer your teen a beer on his or her last birthday.