Is It Illegal To Give My Underage Kids Alcohol On St. Patrick’s Day?

Personal Injury Attorney Ben Schwartz gives his opinion regarding underage kids drinking alcohol on St. Patrick’s Day in their own home with their parents. It’s not illegal if you’re in Wilmington, Delaware. It’s not illegal under Delaware law for you to give your own kids alcohol. There are a couple of statutes in title 4 Delaware code section 904 that address this law. Watch the full video or read the transcript below for the important details.

Is it Illegal To Give My Underage Kids Alcohol On St. Patrick’s Day?

Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,

Today we are going to answer a viewer question from Terry in Wilmington, Delaware. Terry wrote-in and he said, “it is getting ready to be St. Patrick’s Day and I am having a dispute with my spouse. I need you to tell me, is it illegal to give my kids alcohol?” Well Terry, the answer is that it’s not illegal. If you are in Wilmington, Delaware, it’s not illegal under Delaware law for you to give your own kids alcohol. There’s a couple of statutes in Title 4 Delaware code section 904 and we are going to put a link to that in the show notes under this video. Title 4 Delaware code section 904 subsection C and subsection F. Subsection C says, whoever purchases, buys or gives alcoholic liquor for or to a person under the age of 21 years, or knowingly allows a person under his or her supervision and under the age of 21 years to consume alcoholic liquor, shall in addition to the payment of cost be fined for the first offense not less than $100 nor more than $500. They may be ordered by the court to perform community service for a period of 40 hours in such form and on such terms as the court shall deem appropriate under the circumstances and may be imprisoned for not more than 30 days and then it goes on about subsequent offenses.

At the end of that subsection, it contains this language: This subsection shall not apply to religious services or members of the same family within the private home of any of said members. So if you’re in your home Terry and you give alcoholic beverages to your children, then this law doesn’t apply, it’s not illegal for you to do that. Also under Title 4 Delaware code 904 subsection F, that section says that applies to the minor whoever being under the age of 21 years has an alcoholic liquor in his or her possession at any time or consumes or is found to have consumed alcoholic liquor shall have their Delaware driver’s license revoked for a period of 30 days, for the first offense and not less than 90 days nor more than 180 days for each subsequent offense. If the underage person does not have a Delaware driver’s license, they shall be fined $100 for the first offense and not less than $200 nor more than $500 for each subsequent offense. Again, “this section shall not apply to the possession or consumption of alcohol with any religious service or by members of the same family within the private home of any said members.”

So if you are having a St. Patrick’s Day festival at your house, you are in your home, you are inside the house and you give alcoholic beverages to your children, I think you are fine. I do not think that it is going to be illegal for you to do that. I would not do it outside the home. I would not do it to excess. I would not do it with young children. These are just my personal opinions, but if you have a teenager and they want to have a beer on St. Patrick’s Day, I personally do not see anything wrong with it.

I am probably going to get a bunch of hate mail over the internet from parents who do not think their children should have alcohol. But I want to tell you, I grew up in a house where my mother and my grandmother were from Great Britain and I have been drinking beer since I was about 8 or 10 years old. I do not think it has negatively impacted me. You know, I am not drinking and driving. I am not dying from cirrhosis of the liver. I am not having any problems. To me, my own personal opinion is, if you normalize it and if you do not make a big deal out of it, if you do not create some great desire by withholding it from your children, when they are 21 and go off to the bar, they are not going to go crazy because you did not make nothing out of it. If you teach them at home to drink a beer or drink a glass of wine and do it responsibly, because you are a responsible adult, if you teach them and you model the behavior for them and you turn them into a responsible adult, I see nothing wrong whatsoever with giving your teenagers, your underage minor children, a beer or a glass of wine in your own home on St. Patrick’s Day.

Terry Slainte have a great St. Patrick’s Day. Folks out there, let me know what you think about this video. If You have topics about the law or the legal system that you would like me to do a video on, send me an email below.

Is It Illegal To Give My Underage Kids Alcohol On St. Patrick’s Day?

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