Parental Liability for Underage Drinking in Virginia | DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog

Under Virginia law, parents may be both criminally and civilly liable for hosting parties where alcohol is served to minors.  While some parents believe that “kids will be kids” and it’s better to allow them to drink at home, in a supervised party, than somewhere out of the house, this simply isn’t true.  As far as the law is concerned, children must wait until they’re 21!

As a parent, you can be criminally charged with a with a crime, specifically a Class 1 misdemeanor for purchasing, aiding and abetting, or giving alcohol to minors. This charge carries a $2,500 fine and/or up to a year in prison.

On top of any criminal penalties, you can be held liable for any injuries that occur to the child or injuries or damages caused by the child to anyone else.

The Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control offers a parental guide to hosting responsible teen parties.