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5/2/2022 - Don't be a Party to Teenage Drinking!

It’s against the law

With the onset of prom season, graduation parties, end-of-school celebrations and the free-time and fun of the summer season, some parents can be tempted to host parties for their minor-aged kids and their friends-sometimes with alcohol-with the mistaken belief that it is a safer option for their kids to drink at home than to drink somewhere else.
Connecticut General Statutes Section 30-89a states in relevant part that it is a Class A misdemeanor for any person having possession of, or exercising dominion and control over, any dwelling unit or private property to (1) knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, permit any minor (person under the age of 21) to possess alcoholic liquor in such dwelling unit or on such private property, or (2) fail to make reasonable efforts to halt such possession.

Guidelines for parents of teenagers hosting a party

Before the party
Set ground rules with your teenager before the party.
Your teenager needs to know what you expect and why you are setting ground rules. 
Let your teenager know how you would respond to problems so s/he knows what to expect if that situation ever happens.
You and your teenager should share responsibility for hosting the party.
You and your teenager should understand local and state laws about curfew, alcohol and other drugs. It is illegal to offer alcohol to guests under the legal drinking age or to allow guests to use
drugs in your home. You may be brought to court on criminal charges and/or fined monetary damages in a civil lawsuit if you furnish alcohol or other drugs to minors.
Decide what part of the house will be used for the party. Choose an area where guests will be comfortable and where you can maintain supervision.
Limit party attendance and times. Small groups are easier to handle.
Open-hour parties make it difficult for hosts to maintain control.
Other parents will appreciate time limits that enable teenagers to be home at a reasonable time.
Make clear that uninvited guests are not allowed.
Encourage your teenager to organize group activities or games. Such activities keep the party lively and ensure involvement by everyone.

During the party
Make sure you (or another responsible adult who understands your ground rules) will be present for the entire party.
Help keep supplies of snacks and nonalcoholic beverages on hand for guests. 
Do not allow guests to come and go. This guideline will discourage teenagers from leaving the party to drink or use other drugs elsewhere and then returning.
Be alert to signs of alcohol or other drug use by teenagers at the party.
Be prepared to ask guests to leave if they try to bring in alcohol or other drugs or if they refuse to cooperate with your expectations.
Be willing to call the police if unwanted guests refuse to leave.
Notify the parents of any teenager who arrives at the party drunk or under the influence of another drug to ensure his/her safe transportation home.

Do not let anyone drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, even if it means taking the keys and calling a cab or asking a sober adult to give the teenager a ride home.

If you would like, the Canton Police may be able to conduct a drive-by of the party location as a gentle reminder about safety.