Friends and family are often the first source of alcohol for a growing number of young people today. While consuming and purchasing alcohol is still illegal for minors, they may drink if their parent allows them to. However, there are still several restrictions that, if broken, might result in penalties.
Parental consent opens a gateway for drinking
Some parents may believe that introducing their children to alcohol will encourage healthy drinking habits. Meanwhile, other parents think that drinking at home is much safer for their kids.
However, allowing kids to drink could send the wrong message. It may lead them to believe that drinking at such a young age is fine because their parents approve. Some studies show that early exposure to alcohol increases the risk of binge drinking.
In Texas, individuals under 21 can only legally possess or consume alcohol when they have consent and are in the presence of a parent, guardian or spouse. Minors cannot legally purchase alcohol, but their parents can buy and give it to them.
However, parental consent only applies to private residences. Celebrating a special occasion by going out and having a few drinks is fine for adults, but parents should not offer their underage children any liquor. Consuming alcohol as a minor in a restaurant or bar is illegal, even with their parent’s consent.
Additionally, parents should think twice before allowing their kids to host a party in their home. If the kids bring or serve alcohol, parents could face criminal charges, fines of up to $4,000 and one year in jail. Drunk minors may also cause accidents and injure others, for which the host may be liable.
Generally, it is advisable to limit a child’s exposure to alcohol. Parents can help ensure the safety of their children and promote responsibility by establishing clear guidelines regarding alcohol and setting a positive example.