Police warn parents of underage drinking, house parties

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Parents can be held responsible and may face criminal charges if they host a party at which alcohol is available to guests younger than 21, several local police departments are warning.

Compact 2020, which represents the Alabaster, Calera, Columbiana, Harpersville, Helena, Hoover, Leeds, Montevallo, Pelham, Vestavia Hills and Vincent police departments, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office, recently published information on its Facebook page offering tips to keep kids safe this summer.

“We want this time of year to be a safe and fun time for all of our young people. Parents, please help by discussing the dangers of underage drinking with your child and making sure that all parents understand the legal consequences of hosting or allowing parties in their homes where alcohol is available for minors,” read the post. “This week, the final school bell will ring in summer. Children want to have fun. For some, that will mean experimentation with alcohol and drugs. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it is safer if it occurs under your roof.”

Compact 2020 said children die from overdoses and accidental reasons related to alcohol and drug use every day, and said children are held accountable if they host a party or allow experimentation at their houses.

Criminal violations occur if an adult has authorized a party at their residence and is in attendance, if an adult knows an underage person possesses or is using an alcoholic beverage or controlled substance or if an adult fails to take reasonable action to prevent an underage person from possessing or using an alcoholic beverage or controlled substance.

For more tips and updates regarding the dangers of underage drinking, visit Facebook.com/COMPACT2020.