The New Albany Police Department, Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU), and the Ohio Division of Liquor Control are encouraging parents to refrain from furnishing alcohol or a place to consume alcohol to those under the legal drinking age.
To help foster good choices, parents and teens need to understand Ohio’s underage drinking laws.
- It is illegal to provide a place for your child and his/her friends to drink in a “safe” environment. In fact, parents may not provide alcohol to children who are under 21, who are not their own, even in their own home with the other parents’ permission. Those convicted of providing alcohol to a person under 21 years of age face a maximum sentence of six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
- It is illegal to purchase alcohol for anyone under 21. Anyone who purchases, sells or gives alcoholic beverages to underage individuals faces a $1,000 fine and/or up to six months in jail.
- If you are under 21 and are caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .02 percent or higher, a level that can be reached after just one or two drinks, you can be arrested. Punishment is suspension of your driver license for at least 90 days up to a maximum of two years, plus four points added to your driving record. Having an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle is also illegal.
“Together, we must commit to making a safer Ohio, by stopping senseless tragedies associated with irresponsible and illegal underage alcohol consumption,” said OIU Senior Enforcement Commander Erik Lockhart.
A criminal conviction can place restrictions on your freedom and give you a permanent record. But the consequences of your actions do not end there. Your civil liability of hosting an underage drinking party can be costly. Under civil law, you can be held liable for any damage caused by a teen who has become intoxicated at the party you are hosting, if you know alcohol is being served, or if you provide alcohol at the party. If an individual dies as a result of an intoxicated minor, you could face a wrongful death cause of action.
If you have information about a bar, store or carryout selling beer and/or liquor to persons under the age of 21, or you have information of an underage house party, please notify the Ohio Investigative Unit by calling #677 on your cell phone or notify the New Albany Police Department at 614-855-1234.