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Can your fraternity get in trouble for underage drinkers?

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Fraternities in Texas are popular for their social events and parties. However, hosting parties comes with responsibilities, especially when it involves the potential of underage drinking.

There are legal implications that fraternities need to consider to avoid getting into trouble.

Legal drinking age in Texas

In Texas, the legal drinking age is 21. In other words, the law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing, possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages. Fraternities must be aware of this law and ensure that they do not serve alcohol to underage individuals at their events.

Social host liability

Fraternities may be liable for any harm that occurs as a result of underage drinking at their parties. This concept is social host liability. If underage drinkers receive alcohol at a fraternity event and they subsequently cause harm to themselves or others, the fraternity could be responsible.

Potential penalties

If a fraternity serves alcohol to underage individuals at a party, it could face serious consequences. This may include fines, probation, loss of privileges or even the loss of their charter. Additionally, individuals who provide alcohol to minors could face criminal charges.

Risk management

To mitigate the risk of underage drinking at fraternity events, fraternities should implement risk management strategies. This may include checking IDs at the door, providing nonalcoholic beverage options, and monitoring the consumption of alcohol throughout the event. It is also important to educate fraternity members about the dangers of underage drinking and serving alcohol to underage people.

By promoting responsible drinking behavior and discouraging underage drinking, fraternities can help reduce the likelihood of legal issues arising from their events.