In an announcement Tuesday, town officials reminded residents about the state’s social host law, specifically cautioning individuals about the risks of providing alcohol to minors.
“Social host liability is the legal term for the responsibility of a person who furnishes liquor to a guest,” the press release reads. “A social host is anyone who is in control of the premises and who furnishes alcohol or allows it to be consumed on those premises. Parents and adults can face fines, jail time or both if they provide alcohol to individuals under the age of 21. Minors can also face punishment for hosting parties at their parent’s homes without their knowledge.”
The release notes that state law allows for a fine of up to $2,000 along with a year in prison for anyone who provides alcohol to a person under 21 years of age.
“We encourage residents to be mindful of the social host law and to be aware that there are consequences for serving alcohol to minors,” Police Chief Joseph Bennett said. “We want everyone to be safe during celebrations and gatherings, and making safe decisions like not furnishing alcohol to minors is an important part of that.”
Added Hopkinton High School Principal Evan Bishop: “We encourage parents to have ongoing conversations about the risks of underage alcohol and drug use, and their expectations regarding those topics. You can also help your child make safe choices by setting a good example, being involved and being available for them to talk to about what’s going on in their life.”
The town provided a link to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for those interested in learning more about talking to children about alcohol.