Class of 2014.  The graduations are beginning all over the state of Ohio.  Seniors in college and high school will be ready to celebrate and law enforcement are taking active roles in enforcing the alcohol laws to make sure that these graduates, their friends and families are being responsible.

It is one of the most memorable times in life and the celebrations usually come with increased occurrences of underage drinking.  While, as parents, we urge our children to make good and wise decisions, they are, “children”, and will often make mistakes. Participating in illegal and sometimes dangerous activities, as much as we guide them not to, is unfortunately a “rite of passage”, or so these children believe.

If you, as parents, are hosting a graduation party, you need to know it is illegal to provide a “safe place” for your child and his friends to drink.  Often, parents will let their child have friends over, take all their car keys, and keep them safe inside. This is not legal and if caught, the parent could face a maximum of six months in jail and/or $1000 fine. Parents often think that if the underage drinkers don’t leave the house, no one will find out. Nothing can happen.  But, tragically it does. For example, as a criminal defense attorney in Ohio,  I have seen cases of alcohol poisoning, accidents happening the next morning in a “hung-over” state, etc.

Law enforcement is out there. They are watching the package stores for underage buyers of alcohol with a fake ID. They are watching the roads, reading social media platforms, meeting with limousine companies and hotels urging them to report underage drinking. They are being more proactive than normal.

The Bottom Line:  All your child’s accomplishments in high school and college will follow him through his lifetime. Bad decisions, while celebrating these accomplishments should not. Being convicted of a crime can hang on for life.  There is much at stake – college, job, purchasing a home, and beyond.  Put my number in your mobile, you will need an attorney in Ohio, and I will help you.  There are many available options and I will work diligently defending your child.  513-260-2099