Providing Alcohol to a Minor- Massachusetts

Massachusetts- Providing Alcohol to Person Under 21

Under the Massachusetts Social Host Law, you can be charged criminally if you knowingly or intentionally supply, give, or provide to or allow a person under 21 years of age, except for your children or grandchildren, to possess alcoholic beverages on your premises or property.  Conviction for this offense carries up to one year in jail and a $2000 fine.

I did not know that the person I provided alcohol/ allowed to drink on my property was under 21. How can I still be charged?

To be charged under this statute, the prosecution must prove that you had knowledge that the person was under 21 years old.  Additionally, the prosecution must prove that you had intention to serve or provide alcohol to the person, or at least had knowledge that the person was being served or provided the alcohol on your property.  This law was enacted specifically to dissuade parents and guardians from allowing underage drinking parties to occur in their homes.

I was charged with knowingly permitting alcohol to be served to a minor on my property, but I am not the property owner.  How can I still be charged?

You do not have to be the owner of the property to be charged under this statute. If you are entrusted with the control of the property (i.e. a housesitter or babysitter), you are responsible for what occurs during the time you are entrusted with that control, and you can be charged if minors are drinking or are provided alcohol on the property.

If you have been charged with Furnishing/ Providing/ Procuring Alcohol to a Minor in Massachusetts, or Permitting Alcohol to be Served to a Minor in Massachusetts, contact my office for your free initial phone consultation.

Urbelis Law, LLC
98 North Washington St.
Suite 403
Boston, MA 02114
Tel: (617) 830-2188
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