Adults can be liable for minors who get drunk in their homes
On Tuesday, Maryland’s highest court held adults liable for drunk minors in their home.
Adults liable for drunk minors
Adults who knowingly let minors get drunk at their homes may be exposed to lawsuits if the drunk minor gets hurt or hurts someone else.
The Court of Appeals ruled that criminal laws making it illegal for adults to give alcohol to minors should also be considered in civil cases.
Judge Sally D. Adkins said: “Underage persons are not solely responsible for drinking alcohol on an adult’s property because they are not competent to handle the effects of this potentially dangerous substance.”
The Court of Appeals ruling covered two cases.
The first involved a teenage boy who got drunk at one of his friend’s parents’ house. The teenager then rode in a car with an intoxicated adult. The drunk driver got into a crash and the boy died.
The second case involved a woman who was injured when an teenage drunk driver hit her while driving a car.
According to the court’s ruling, the parents holding the party in both cases may be liable.
The Court of Appeals sent both cases back to the trial courts for further review.
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