With Christmas and New Year’s just around the corner, soon there will be holiday parties with family and friends across the state – and minors are most likely to attend. As the host, you may want to give the party of the century, but before you think about giving a few innocent drinks to minors at your parties, you should consider the legal and civil ramifications of doing so.
In Nevada, it is illegal for any individual under the age of 21 to possess or consume alcohol in a public place. There are exceptions to this law, including if the minor possessing alcoholic beverages are accompanied by a parent or guardian that is at least 21 years of age.
However, generally speaking, it is illegal to furnish alcohol to a minor that is known to be under the legal drinking age. In Nevada, it is considered a misdemeanor offense that carries a penalty of up to six months in jail and/or up-to $1,000 in fines. The court may impose a sentence of community service in lieu of jail time or fines, depending on the amount of alcohol served and the number of prior offenses.
What if a Minor Misrepresents Their Age?
If a minor attending your party misrepresents their age as 21 years or older, they are in violation of Nev. Rev. Statute Section 202.040. Violators of this statute will face up to six months in jail or a fine of up to $1,000.
The Civil Liabilities
Whether you are criminally liable for underage drinking at your party or not, you could face civil penalties for allowing underage drinking at your private party. If the underage drinker is involved in an accident that harms themselves or others, you may also be considered legally liable for the property damage, medical bills, and other financial losses associated with that accident. If the minor dies due to their alcohol consumption at your party, you could face criminal charges as well as a civil suit for wrongful death.
Host a Smarter Party This Holiday Season
You can avoid any civil or criminal penalties at this year’s holiday parties just by:
- Checking and verifying the age of anyone attending your party and not allowing any minor to consume or possess alcohol while attending your event – regardless of whether or not their legal guardian or parental consent.
- Not allowing anyone to leave your party and drive a vehicle or motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol.
- Having a sober adult in charge of alcohol distribution and monitoring at the party.
- Creating separate activities for minors attending the party that does not involve any alcohol being served.
Were You Injured by a Minor Under the Influence?
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident with a minor that was under the influence of alcohol, you may have a case against the minor or the adult that served the minor. Contact the attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group today regarding your case for a no-obligation consultation at 702-222-9999, or fill out an online contact form with your questions.