What does state law say?
It is a violation of state law to knowingly and willfully allow possession or consumption of an alcoholic beverage by an underage person.
SETTINGS COVERED: A residence and the area around a residence.
What happens if an adult breaks the law?
Adults who are charged with this violation face graduated sentences. The first offense is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $2,500. Second and subsequent offenses are misdemeanors punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000. (Maryland Criminal Law Code Annotated Section 10-121).
Can adult do anything to rescind the violation?
The law does not apply if the person over the age of 21 and the minor are members of the same immediate family and the consumption occurs on private property, or if the consumption is part of a religious ceremony.
Can the adult be sued?
The State of Maryland has not enacted a law regarding civil penalties for social hosting. In the absence of a statute, Maryland case law does not recognize a cause of action for “social host liability”.
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Are there local laws that I should be aware of?
It is possible. Check with your local municipality since there are some communities that enact additional local ordinances which can include fines and other penalties.