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Hosting a teen's party? Know the law in Texas

You want to be the "cool" parent, right? Maybe, you just want to make sure that your teenager is somewhere safe. Whatever the reason, you decide to let your underage teen hold a party with friends in your house or backyard -- with alcohol involved.

That's a big mistake. Now, both you and your teenager could be charged with a crime.

Back in 2005, the Texas legislature passed laws that specifically make it illegal for a "social host" to knowingly provide alcohol to an underage minor as part of a plan to curb teen drinking. It's now a Class A misdemeanor to violate those laws, which can lead to a maximum of a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

You might think that your pretty safe, as long as your teen and their friends stay on your property and don't go anywhere until they're sober.

Think again. The police find out about house parties more often than parents think, through a variety of sources:

  • Other parents -- Surely you didn't believe your teen when they said that all the other parents were okay with their children being in attendance at this party, right?
  • Neighbors -- All it takes is a for a parent to step away for an hour or two for a house party to get out of control. Loud music, parked cars and a drunken teen or two may be all it takes to annoy the neighbors into calling the police.
  • Social media -- Police departments are increasingly sophisticated about social media. All it takes is one person to post a photo of the party at your house online for it to get back to the police.

When alcohol is involved, you simply never know what's going to happen. Don't take the risk.

If you or your teen makes a mistake and ends up facing criminal charges over a house party, take the issue seriously. Defense attorneys are often able to work with prosecutors on alternatives to convictions in cases like these.

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329 South Guadalupe Street
San Marcos, TX 78666

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