We have all heard parents say things like this: “I would rather have my kids and their friends drink at our house, so I know where they are.” or “At least they aren’t out at a bar or somewhere unsafe when they drink at home or a friend’s house.” or “I’d rather be the cool parent that lets them drink at my house than not know where they are or what they are doing.” Maybe you have even said those things yourself.
We understand the concept behind it, but ultimately any teenage drinking is illegal. You are probably thinking that you know teenage drinking is illegal and that is why you would rather have them do it at someone’s house than out at a bar. The thing is, it is illegal everywhere, period. And, those kids have to go home at some point. And, some may choose to leave your house without your knowledge while still intoxicated. So, now you have allowed them to drink at your house, possibly even provided the liquor, and they are driving drunk. Now what? Well, now you better hope and pray that they get home safely and don’t kill themselves or someone else along the way.
How Safe is the Road?
We aren’t being dramatic because this is a daily occurrence in the United States. In an article entitled, “The Sobering Statistics of Underage Drinking,” it is cited that “The CDC reports that high school students drive intoxicated about 2.4 million times each month, and underage drivers are 17% more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash with alcohol in their system.” If that statistic didn’t make your eyes pop, then maybe you need to read it again. That is a staggering number of young people driving drunk every month. How safe do you feel getting out on the road now?
Florida Dram Shop Law
If you are a parent that has been allowing underage drinking in your home, then you need to be aware of something called the Florida Dram Shop Law. This law is important to be aware of if you are an adult providing alcohol to children whether at home or as a bartender or as a salesclerk at a liquor store.
The Florida Dram Shop Law provides penalties for (holds accountable) those who provide or sell alcohol to underage drinkers OR known alcohol-addicted drinkers who cause an accident. That’s right, this law extends the penalty to providing alcohol to someone who is already intoxicated or known to be alcohol-addicted. If they injure or kill someone while driving intoxicated, then YOU, the person who provided the alcohol or allowed underage or alcoholic drinking to occur can be held responsible.
You might be thinking that it isn’t fair since you weren’t the one behind the wheel. So, who is responsible? The fifteen-year-old who cries over a hard homework assignment? The alcoholic who literally can’t say no if you offer her another drink? Absolutely, they are responsible for their actions, but so are you. There are laws in place for a reason. If you break them, there is a price to pay. There is no such thing as being the “cool” parent when a kid is killed in a drunk driving accident. Please do not allow underage drinking in your home, period.
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed by a drunk driver that was either underage or known to have an alcohol addiction, then you need to call us at Nance Law. We are personal injury attorneys who handle Dram Law cases. Let our team of investigators find out for you if the Dram Law was broken through interviews, security cameras, and eyewitness accounts. If this law was broken, we will make sure that you and your family receive the proper compensation and that the appropriate people are held responsible. Nobody should have to be the victim of a drunk driver.