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State Law In

New Hampshire

What does state law say?

It is against state law to knowingly allow persons under the age of 21 to possess or intend to consume alcoholic beverages or use controlled drugs at a drug or underage alcohol house party.

DEFINITIONS WITHIN THE LAW:
“Drug or underage alcohol house party” means a gathering of 5 or more people under the age of 21, who are unrelated to the person who owns or has control of the site.

SETTINGS COVERED:
Any building, structure, vehicle, boat or place adapted for overnight accommodation, as wells as any land or grounds surrounding it.

What happens if an adult breaks the law?

Adults who are charged with this violation face a fine not to exceed $1200.  This is a Class B misdemeanor.

Can adult do anything to rescind the violation?

A person gives timely notice to a law enforcement official of the occurrence of the drug or underage alcohol house party or engages in other conduct designed to prevent the occurrence of such party, or takes action to terminate such party once it is underway.

Can the adult be sued?

The State of New Hampshire has not enacted a law regarding civil penalties for social hosting.  In the absence of a statute, the court (Hickingbotham v. Burke) held that hold that a plaintiff who is injured as a result of a social host’s service of alcohol may maintain an action against that social host, so long as the plaintiff can allege that the service was reckless.







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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.