What is your responsibility as a parent if someone is injured as a result of alcohol served by your minor child in your home?
Short Answer: You are responsible for any foreseeable harm for the failure to adequately supervise.
The law in New Jersey is quite clear that parents have a duty to provide for reasonable supervision of their minor child if it is reasonably foreseeable that, in their absence, the child will invite friends to a beer party at which one of the minor guests will become intoxicated and thereby injure himself or others.. See Thompson v. Victor’s Liquor Store, Inc., 216 N.J.Super. 202, 523 A.2d 269 (App.Div.1987) (seller of alcoholic beverage to underage person may be liable for injuries to minor with whom purchaser shared beverage where, while intoxicated by beverage, minor injured himself [635 A.2d 583] by carelessly driving a car into a brick wall). See also Macleary v. Hines, 817 F.2d 1081 (3rd Cir.1987) (host of party where alcoholic beverages consumed may be liable for injuries to minor guest who, as result of becoming intoxicated there, carelessly entered a car being driven by visibly intoxicated person and was injured when driver drove the car into a tree).
The bottom line is that as a parent you need to know what is going on in your house.
Rule number 1: No parties when you are not home.
Rule number 2. You need to know if kids are sneaking alcohol or drugs into your basement.
Rule number 3. You need to have a well known zero tolerance policy.