Social Host Laws: It’s Illegal to Furnish Alcohol to Minors

As prom, graduation, and summer time approaches, it is important for parent and students alike to understand the risk and liability of allowing underage drinking to happen at home, in a rented hotel room or on any other property under your control.

Massachusetts has a set of social host laws that help prevent underage drinking.  The law in Massachusetts is clear.: Whoever furnishes alcohol to a person under 21 years of age shall be punished by:

  • A Fine of up to $2,000 or
  • Imprisonment for up to a year or
  • Both

A social host is anyone (adult or minor) who is in control of the premises and who furnishes alcohol or allows it to be consumed on the premises. If in violation, you or your child may be charged criminally. It is also possible to sued civilly with higher damages depending on the circumstances.

A criminal or juvenile record can be prevent a person from getting a job or joining the military. Making bad decisions about alcohol can jeopardize involvement in school activities, sports or clubs, college admissions, and financial aid.

Adapted from: BSAS SA3251 Preventing Underage Drinking

Please click the link for a PDF to download the following brochure more detailed information.