State Law Requires You to Be 21 Years Old to Consume Any Alcoholic Beverage
Video Transcribed: My name is Brian L. Jackson, and I’m a Tulsa Father’s Rights attorney. Today, I wanted to talk about common misconceptions about the law. Today’s common misconception is if I’m at home with my kids I can allow them to drink alcohol. The correct answer to that is, no you can’t. That actually violates several statutes depending on how a prosecuting authority might want to deal with it.
The State Law is that you have to be 21 years of age to consume any alcoholic beverage whatsoever, including, by the way, low-point beer. If you are under 21 and consuming alcohol, that’s underage drinking and that is considered a crime. It’s generally a petty crime, but it is a crime. So, if you as an adult furnish alcohol to your child, you could be committing the crime of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Now, there are also two specific statutes you could also be violating under Title 37A, which is the Alcoholic Beverages Statute dealing with either furnishing alcohol to a minor, which is a criminal misdemeanor on a first offense or allowing the consumption of alcohol on your property which is also a criminal misdemeanor on the first offense. Now, the first violation could actually carry up to a year in the county jail for a first-time offense. If you have subsequent offenses, it can be up to five years in state prison. So it’s a big deal.
So if there’s any confusion about that, no, you cannot allow your child to drink on your own premises. Now, the problems are compounded if your child goes off and causes a problem. For example, let’s say they get drunk and drive and kill somebody, then you could actually be on the hook for that death.
There’s a story I’ve been told about a case involving someone who provided alcohol for an underage drinking party and somebody at that drinking party ended up dying of alcohol poisoning. Even though this particular individual was not the only person who furnished alcohol to the party, this individual was actually charged with felony murder for furnishing alcohol to this party where a minor died of alcohol poisoning.
So, giving alcohol to your underage kid is a really bad idea. Letting him drink it at home is a really bad idea. It can get you in a lot of criminal trouble. If you host other kids there and something happens, you could be looking at criminal liability, and then there’s also a civil liability as well because there are hosting laws that come into play where if that kid gets behind the wheel and drives and injures someone or kills somebody in addition to whatever criminal consequences may come your way, you can also get sued.
So, don’t make that mistake. No, your underaged child cannot drink alcohol in your presence. You can’t furnish it to them. Dads, don’t fall for that misconception. You hear it around a lot, it’s not true, and it can really jam you up. And also, if this could be the kind of thing that lands you in domestic court on the wrong end of a motion to modify or an emergency motion for an emergency order.
So, long to short of it is, guys, do not give your underaged child, teenager, 18-year-old, whatever, alcohol. It’s a bad idea. And also, for those of you who are parents of teenagers, this is an aside, you guys know how teenagers are, or at least you should. They think they know a lot about the world, they think they’re really sophisticated, and nine times out of 10 they’re not.
So there’s that too. Take that and combine that with a substance that is a known disinhibiting substance and it’s a really bad combination. It’s going to cause you problems. My name is Brian L. Jackson and I’m an Oklahoma father’s rights attorney.