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TRI Science Addiction The Partnership at Drugfree.org

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State Law In

Pennsylvania

What does state law say?

It is against the law to intentionally and knowingly furnish alcohol to a person who is underage.

DEFINITIONS WITHIN THE LAW:
“Furnish” is defined as to supply, give or provide to, or allow a minor to possess alcohol.

SETTINGS COVERED:
Premises or property owned or controlled by the host.

What happens if an adult breaks the law?

Adults who are charged with this violation face graduated punishments. The first violation carries a minimum fine of $1,000 and possibly 6 months in the county jail; and subsequent violations carry a minimum fine of $2,500 and possibly 6 months in the county jail.  This is a misdemeanor of the third degree.

Can adult do anything to rescind the violation?

Not addressed.

Can the adult be sued?

The State of Pennsylvania has not enacted a law regarding civil penalties for social hosting.  In the absence of a statute, courts have limited social liability to minor guests, and have further found that the social host must “knowingly furnish” alcoholic beverages to minors. In Congini v. Porterville Valve Co., the Court limited liability of social hosts to the actions of intoxicated minor guests. In Bemis v. Gumbeski and Sites v. Cloonan, a social host cannot be held liable for the injuries caused to a third person by an intoxicated minor guest, if the host did not “knowingly furnish” alcoholic beverages to such minor guest.







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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.