As reported by Patrick Anderson in the July 28, 2015 edition of the Providence Journal, two parents have entered pleas in connection with a Jamestown social host case. In June, Jamestown police were called to a house party. While there, they found underage drinking. The couple who owned the house and were parents of one of the teenagers, were charged under Rhode Island’s Social Host laws for providing alcohol to minors.
Pursuant to Rhode Island General Law 3-8-11.1, furnishing or providing alcohol to minors is very broadly defined. It is not necessary to prove that the parents brought the alcohol or gave to the minors as long as the consumption of the alcohol took place on their property.
As used in this section: (1) "furnish" means to provide with, supply, give or purchase; (2) "procure" means to get possession of, obtain by particular care and effort; and (3) "permit" means to give permission for, or approval of, the possession or consumption of an alcoholic beverage by any form of conduct, that would cause a reasonable person to believe that permission or approval has been given.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d) of this section it is unlawful for any person twenty-one (21) years of age or older:
(1) to purchase from any licensee or any employee of a licensee any alcoholic beverage for the sale, delivery, service of or giving away to, any person who has not reached his or her twenty-first (21st) birthday;
(2) to purchase from any licensee or any employee of any licensee any alcoholic beverage with the intent to cause or permit said alcoholic beverage to be sold, or given to any person who has not reached his or her twenty-first (21st) birthday;
(3) to knowingly furnish any alcoholic beverage for the sale, delivery, service of or giving to any person who has not reached his or her twenty-first (21st) birthday;
(4) to procure alcoholic beverages for the sale, delivery, service of or giving to any person who has not reached his or her twenty-first (21st) birthday; or
(5) to otherwise permit the consumption of alcohol by underaged persons in his or her residence or on his or her real property.
(d) This section does not apply to use, consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages by a minor for religious purposes; or to a parent or legal guardian procuring or furnishing alcohol to, or permitting the consumption of alcohol by, his or her minor child or ward.
The penalties if convicted include a fine of not less than three hundred fifty dollars ($350.00) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) and/or imprisoned for a period not exceeding six (6) months, or both.
In this case, both the woman and her husband are required to pay $500.00 to the Court. If they remain out of trouble for one year, the case can be removed from their record.If you or a family member has been charged with providing alcohol to minors, possession of alcohol by a minor or other social host crimes, please allow Attorney Robert H. Humphrey’s reputation, experience and skill to successfully guide you through the legal process. Please contact Attorney Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., at 401-816-5862 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.