It’s high school graduation season – a time of ceremony and well deserved celebration. But officials are warning party hosts to think twice before including alcohol in the celebration.
Erica Marthage is State’s Attorney for Bennington County. She cautions that it’s illegal for adults to provide alcohol for even one minor in their home… And, that the penalty can be severe.
(Marthage) "The person hosting that party is looking at a criminal fine of not less than $500 and up to $2,000 or imprisonment for two years or both. At that’s assuming nothing tragic happens. If there is a car accident involving one of the individuals from that party, then you’re looking at much more severe penalties – five years or $10,000 or both."
(Host) Marthage says people can also be charged with involuntary manslaughter if they provide alcohol to a youth who dies from alcohol poisoning, or if drinking contributes to their death.
That offense can carry a penalty of 15 years in prison.