The provided scenario is related to social hosting. While throwing a party or being a host, it is the responsibility of the host to convey such party with due care (A&A 2018). It should be taken into care that due to the party itself, no one could get hurt in any manner and no law would be breached. In the current scenario it is very common for teenagers to attend parties. Alcohol is an element which is often served in parties; therefore probability of consumption of alcohol and other drugs by teenagers is always there. At first instance, it is liability of parents to stop their child from having such kind of drinks (Witte 211). The thesis statement of this essay is to enlighten the consequences of throwing a party with minors present and underage drinking.
Social hosting is a very crucial job these days which need to be performed with due care. According to the negligence Law, a person owns a civil duty to other. One must be careful and not offer alcohol to underage in his/her party as this attracts civil liability. As it has mentioned earlier that giving a party in which alcohol is being served and underage people are consuming the same will be an issue. It can cause health issues in minors and also be one of the lead reasons of late night road side accidents. The consequences of throwing a party with minor present and underage drinking can be very dangerous.
In United States, all states prevent the practice providing alcohol to the minor person; here minor refer to a person who is not attained to age of 18 yet (Findlaw 2018). These states have their separate laws on this subject which have their different applicability area. Illinois, one of the states of United States has developed it is Social Host Ordinance and that is recognized as “the Drug or Alcohol Impaired Minor Responsibility Act (740 ILCS 58/1)”. The same became law in year 2004. As earlier mentioned that serving alcohol to minors attracts civil penalty, therefore the mentioned aw also includes the provisions which imposes civil penalties to responsible person. According to section 10 of the said act, a person can bring the action against that person who is serving alcohol or other liquor, if the same occur damages of any kind. Damages can be in form of
- Economic loss including , loss of productivity, support expenses, hospitality charges, medical expenditure or any other kind of expenditure occur due to the consumption of alcohol.
- Non-economic loss such as physical impairment, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss off enjoyment and other non-pecuniary losses which can occur due to consumption of alcohol.
- reasonable attorneys' fees
- Cost of proceedings and other reasonable expenses related to expert testimony
- Punitive damages (Illinois General Assembly 2018).
This act further stipulated that the person who served the alcohol to minor shall be personally liable for any injury or death occurred to such minor or underage person. This act was developed after the decision given in one of the lead case of Wakulich v. Mraz, 203 Ill. 2d 223 (Ill. 2003). In this case, claimant who was mother of a 16 years old girl became failed to get justice as there was not a defined law. But now in the Drug or Alcohol Impaired Minor Responsibility Act, defined provisions and protections are provided to minor and his/her parents in that circumstance where a social host provides alcohol or other drugs to minor in a party and such minor get injured due to this. As earlier stated that every state of United States has their act, rules and regulation in the area of social hosting, no one can escape from his/her liability. This is also to state that in that circumstance where no act can be applicable to prove the responsibility of a social host and he/she provides alcohol to minor, then law of negligence will be applicable. If evaluated in general, then act of throwing a party with underage drinking brings civil liability and one cannot escape from the same. Under Negligence Law, a person who has duty of care to other and become failed to do so then the same would be responsible for such breach (e-law resources 2018). Although this activity is not covered by criminal law, yet if the reason behind a death of minor is consumption of alcohol, which was offered by a social host then such social host can be also held liable under criminal law.
Situation becomes more typical when host is serving alcohol to minors and police entered into house. In such circumstance, police has reason to believe that the social host is doing so and the minors do not have any knowledge about the fact that what is right and what is wrong for them. The whole sole responsibility would be of host in this situation. Police have all the arresting powers in such situation and the police can also prepare report against the liable social host. In addition to this police also can seize the stock of alcohol available with host. Although as per principal of natural justice, opportunity of being heard will be provided to the host (US legal 2018). Yet this is to mention that in a party where host is serving alcohol to minors and police has also called upon, conditions will be complicated for host. One of the drawbacks of subjective activity i.e. throwing a party with minors present and underage drinking is that this activity attracts many of the liabilities under various acts and it is almost impossible to get a safeguard from the same. As the outcome it is to conclude that teenagers and youth are the future of a nation and government always remain very careful and attentive in respect to them, this is the reason that every government provides law to prevent those activities which can cause harms to minors and young people of the area of jurisdiction.
A&A. Understanding Social Host Liability. A&A 2018 Web. 29 June 2018 < https://www.bcliquorlaw.com/understanding-social-host-liability/>
e-law resources. Negligence. e-law resources 2018. Web. 29 June 2018 <https://www.e-lawresources.co.uk/Negligence.php>
Findlaw. What are the Legal Rights of Children? Findlaw 2018. Web. 29 June 2018 < https://family.findlaw.com/emancipation-of-minors/what-are-the-legal-rights-of-children.html>
Illinois General Assembly. Illinois Compiled Statutes. Illinois General Assembly 2018 Web. 29 June 2018 <https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2493&ChapterID=57>
US legal. Opportunity to be Heard Law and Legal Definition. US legal 2018. Web. 29 June 2018 < https://definitions.uslegal.com/o/opportunity-to-be-heard/>
Wakulich v. Mraz, 203 Ill. 2d 223 (Ill. 2003)
Witte, Philippe De. Underage Drinking: A Report on Drinking in the Second Decade of Life in Europe and North America. Presses univ. de Louvain, 2012:211.