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Arizona Social Host Laws


If an adult of legal drinking age permits children under the age of 21 to drink alcohol, this adult could be prosecuted under the 'social host laws', as outlined in the Arizona criminal code. This is a mandate which declares under A.R.S. § 4-241 (Q) that:

"A person who is of legal drinking age and who is an occupant of unlicensed premises is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor if both of the following apply: 1. Such person knowingly allows a gathering on such unlicensed premises of two or more persons who are under the legal drinking age and who are neither:

(a) Members of the immediate family of such person.

(b) Permanently residing with such person.

2. Such person knows or should know that one or more of the persons under the legal drinking age is in possession of or consuming spirituous liquor on the unlicensed premises."

For example, if you host a Sweet 16 birthday party for your daughter, and allow her and her (underage) friends to consume alcoholic cocktails as part of the festivities, you can be held criminally responsible if any of those teenagers are investigated by the police for underage drinking. Under Arizona's 'Zero Tolerance' law, it is illegal for any underage child to have any trace of alcohol in his or her blood, even if it is only 0.01%.

In order to be convicted under a social host law, the prosecution will need to prove that you either furnished the underage drinkers with alcohol or were aware of the fact that they had obtained alcohol and were consuming it. The social host law also applies to drugs in many circumstances. Whether you were arrested for Underage Drinking, or are a parent or adult who was arrested under the social host law – Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor, it is advisable to seek the advice and counsel of a Mesa DUI Attorney before making any decisions in your case. Attorney Trent Buckallew is experienced in defending all types of alcohol related crimes, including Underage Drinking, Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor, Minor in Consumption, Minor in Possession, and Underage DUI just to name a few. With his primary office in Mesa, Mr. Buckallew handles cases throughout the East Valley and Statewide.

Contact the Law Offices of Trent R. Buckallew, P.C. today to schedule a free consultation if you have any alcohol related or other criminal violations pending.

**This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact the Firm to schedule a consultation regarding your case.

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