Hosting a Summer Party for Teens: What Parents Should Know
Parents of teenagers often want to be seen as the “cool” parent. They want their teen to be popular, and they want their kids to think they are great. With both of these desires in mind, these parents often suggest hosting a party for their friends and what better time to do so than the summer.
While this is a great way for your teenagers to socialize with parental supervision, parents need to be aware that they cannot be “too cool” during these events.
What is “too cool?” Too cool is allowing teens to openly consume alcohol during a party. Underage drinking is a crime, and in many states, such as Florida, parents who allow underage drinking on their premises can face up to 60 days in jail and be held financially liable for any injuries that occur due to drinking.
In Florida, the act of allowing underage drinking to occur at your home is known as “social hosting.” Social hosting is described as creating an atmosphere or designating a place where underage individuals can openly enjoy alcohol. Owners of the home are held liable for this action, even if they are not on the property when the event occurs. Every summer this scenario plays out repeatedly. Ignorance is no excuse and parents who are unknowledgeable regarding the social hosting law keeps legal professionals, such as Tampa DUI attorney firms and other law groups around the state, very busy.
Keep a Watchful Eye Out
• Underage smoking – In most states, you must be at least 18 years old to legally possess and smoke cigarettes. Even if your teen has friends that meet this age requirement, it is in your best interest as a parent not to allow any smoking on your property or at your teen’s party. This eliminates any risk you may have of someone below this age smoking. Parents can be held liable for this action by other parents if they allow underage smoking.
• Recreational drugs – While this is not always easy to spot, keep your eyes open for any unusual activity or someone who has brought their own drinks to the party. A very common and dangerous drug that is popular right now is known as “Lean.” This is a mixture of Sprite and codeine cough syrup. It is the color purple and has a very sweet smell.
• Sex – Teen hormones are always at peak performance. Make sure that you watch for couples taking off into dark areas or into rooms of your home. You don’t want the burden of knowing you contributed to the contraction of a sexually transmitted disease or untimely pregnancy.
Even if you have dedicated your evening to monitoring these teens, there is always a risk that something can happen. To possibly avoid any problems, make sure that you make an effort to see each adolescent before they leave. If you believe that they may be intoxicated, despite your best efforts, do not allow them to leave. If that teen is involved in a DUI arrest or accident, you may be held responsible.
While all of these warnings may seem like a reason never to allow your kids to have a party, they should be used as an informational tool. Parents who understand what to look for and what to avoid at a high school party can still throw a great bash and still appear “cool” in their teen’s eyes. The goal is to avoid any problems that could occur.
Jamica Bell is a freelance writer and the proud parent of three teenagers. She contributes this article to inform parents of ways to enjoy a safe summer with their teens. David S. Katz is a Tampa DUI attorney and partner of the law firm, Katz and Phillips, P.A. With years of experience and a wealth of knowledge regarding underage dui defense, he confidently defends alcohol arrest clients, regardless of their age.
Photo credit: brad_bechtel
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