The Truth about Underage Drinking

The Truth about Underage Drinking

It’s almost time for school to begin, which means summer vacations are over and families across the state are heading back home for the new school year. The start of a new school year also marks the reunification of friends after a summer spent apart. If you’re the parent of a teenager, then chances are you know that when teenagers get around one another, rules can be broken.

As Friday night high school football games begin and the weather cools off, teenagers across the state will begin looking for ways to entertain themselves on the weekends. For some, this could mean bowling, going to the movies, or working out. For others, it could be house parties. Without jumping to conclusions or stereotyping, many times, teenagers use house parties as a means to illegally consume alcohol.

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No Exceptions to Underage Drinking

Even if it happens under your roof and under your supervision, underage drinking is illegal in California.

The minimum drinking age across the United States is 21, but there are some states that allow exceptions to this rule when teens are drinking in the presence of, and with the permission of their parents. Some of those states include Virginia, South Carolina, and New Mexico. California is excluded from this list, meaning that even if a parent gives their 20 year old a sip of their cocktail, they can get in trouble.

In California, supplying a minor with alcohol is most often a misdemeanor offense. Adults who are charged with this misdemeanor will face time in jail, up to 1 year, though it is usually less than 2 months...

Can a Parent Give their Child Alcohol?

Like all states, the minimum age for drinking alcohol in California is 21. However, unlike other states, there are no exceptions to this rule in California. For example, some states allow minors to drink alcohol under the allowance and supervision of their parent or legal guardian, but this is not allowed in California.

In California, minors who violate the legal age drinking laws for the first time face a $250 fine and 24-32 hours of community service. For subsequent violations, the minor is looking at a fine of $500 maximum and 36 to 48 hours of community service. If they have their driver’s license, it can be suspended for 1 year.

Any individual who is caught providing the minor with alcohol faces a $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service...