This time of year families throughout Ohio are busy planning graduation celebrations to honor their graduate. Agents with the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Ohio Investigative Unit are urging parents and teens to make the wise and mature decision not to participate in illegal and dangerous behavior, such as providing alcohol to minors and consuming underage.
“Far too often, parents believe they will have a party to provide a safe environment for their child and some of his/her friends,” said Agent-in-Charge Eric Wolf. “However, even if parents have taken ‘every safety precaution,’ it is often not enough and an incident or a tragedy occurs. We are asking these families to rethink their decision and not participate.”
To help foster good choices, parents and teens need to understand Ohio’s underage drinking laws.
• It is illegal to provide a place for your child and his/her friends to drink in a “safe” environment. In fact, parents may not provide alcohol to children, who are under 21, who are not their own, even with the other parents' permission. Those convicted of providing alcohol to a person under 21 years of age face maximum sentences of six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
• It is illegal to purchase alcohol for anyone under 21. Anyone who purchases, sells or gives alcoholic beverages to underage individuals faces a $1,000 fine and/or up to six months in jail.
• If you are under 21 and are caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .02 percent or higher, a level that can be reached after just one or two drinks, you can be arrested. Punishment is suspension of your driver license for at least 90 days up to a maximum of two years, plus four points added to your driving record. Having an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle is also illegal.
By stopping senseless tragedies associated with irresponsible and illegal underage alcohol consumption we are committing to making a safer Ohio. If you have information about a bar; store or carryout selling beer and/or liquor to persons under the age of 21; or you have information of an underage house party, please notify the Ohio Investigative Unit by calling #677 on your cell phone and your complaint will be investigated.