A Message from Sheriff Tim Howard
May 31, 2013 - It is that time of year when area high schools students will be attending prom and or graduation parties. I would like to take this opportunity to caution everyone, particularly adults who will be hosting graduation parties, about alcohol consumption by minors.
In New York State is is illegal to host or allow teen drinking parties in your home. It is illegal for persons less than 21 years of age to possess an alcoholic beverage; and just about everything and everyone associated with alcohol violations are subject to civil liability.
As a parent, you cannot give alcohol to your teen’s friends under the age of 21 under any circumstances, even in your own home and even with their parents’ permission. You cannot knowingly allow a person under 21, other than your own child, to remain in your home or on your property while consuming or possessing alcohol.
If you choose to break the law: You could face jail time and or a severe fine at the discretion of the judge; others can sue you if you give alcohol to anyone under 21 and they in turn hurt someone, hurt themselves or damage property.
Please set a good example and refuse to supply alcohol to anyone under 21; and set the ground rules for grad and prom parties. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office takes underage drinking very seriously.
If your teen is having a party:
Do not send e-mail invitations which can be forwarded to a large group of people; put your phone number on the invitation and welcome calls from parents; make it clear that alcohol, drugs, and tobacco are prohibited; set a start and end time for the party.
If your child is attending a party:
Know where your child will be. Call the parents in charge to verify the location and to ensure there will be supervision. Make sure alcohol will not be served or allowed at the party. You may want to ask them how they plan to handle the situation if a teen shows up with alcohol or has been drinking.
Set a curfew for your child to return home and have them check in with you when they get home. And finally, assure your child that they can call you to be picked up whenever needed and that they should never get in a car with a driver who has been drinking or using drugs.
If you know of underage drinking going on, please do not hesitate to call the Tipline @ 1-800-851-1932. It is manned 24 hours a day and is anonymous.