Posts Tagged ‘underage drinking’

Idle Time Can Land Kids in Hot Water This Summer

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

With the summer school break upon us, now is the time for parents to consider how they can keep their tween or teen safe and out of hot water amid the glut of seasonal down time.

In addition to health and safety concerns, “there are many unforeseen legal pitfalls parents should be aware of,” says San Diego, California attorney Jeff Isaac.

While specific laws and policies vary from state to state, these are some things to keep in mind over the summer, says Isaac:

1. Curfew:  Many parents have no idea about the laws relating to curfew, which vary from city to city, says Isaac.  Generally, 10 p.m. is the most common curfew time, but there are exceptions. Breaking curfew can result in legal consequences. (And don't even get me started on safety concerns here.)

2. Graffiti and Vandalism: Those who mark up community walls and buildings with graffiti are breaking the law. Kids may find themselves financially liable and may face criminal penalties. Parents also are often found financially liable when their kids damage or destroy the property of others, sometimes to the tune of thousands of dollars.

3. Underage Drinking: There are a litany of legal offenses associated with minors and alcohol or drugs, which range from misdemeanors to felonies. This in addition to the threats to the child’s health, safety and well-being.

4. Tobacco Use:
Most retail outlets check the identification of anyone seemingly under the age of 18 who is attempting to purchase tobacco products. Misdemeanor charges could apply if a minor uses a false ID to make such a transaction.

Bottom line: In addition to talking with your tween or teen about health and safety issues this summer, discuss legal consequences as well.