New York State law prohibits individuals under the age of 21 from consuming alcoholic beverages. If found driving under the influence, an underage motorist may have his or her license suspended under the state’s Zero Tolerance policy.
The City of Binghamton also passed a local ordinance known as a “Social Host” law to curtail underage drinking. As noted by the Binghamton City Hall website, individuals who host gatherings and serve drugs or alcohol to individuals under 21 may face civil and criminal penalties.
Consuming alcoholic beverages outside of a host’s home
The law permits officials to issue citations to individuals who serve alcohol or drugs to minors even if outside of their residences. For example, if a party takes place in a yard or an open space connected to the host’s home, he or she may have violated the city’s ordinance.
Events taking place inside apartments and college or university fraternity buildings may result in the owner facing liability and penalties. If he or she did not know about the gathering or that underage guests consumed drugs or alcohol, officials may still issue a ticket. This is in addition to issuing tickets to those who attended the party.
Facing fines and jail time for hosting a party
Binghamton police responded to a call regarding a loud party at a large three-story apartment building. When officers arrived on the scene, several attendees held alcoholic beverages and the apartment held a “strong” odor of marijuana.
As reported by WNBF News Radio 1290, approximately 100 individuals attended the party. Officers charged a 20-year-old with violating an open container law and arrested a 29-year-old Binghamton resident under the social host law. The arrest may result in the host spending 15 days in jail or paying a $1,000 fine.