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Social Host Law
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According to Thriving Youth Darien’s 2023 Youth Survey, 69% of high-school aged youth believed it would be "sort of" or "very easy" to access alcohol, and 53% report getting alcohol from an adult or parent with their permission. 

To address these concerning findings, Thriving Youth Darien is partnering with the Darien Police Department on a “sticker shock” campaign this spring to raise awareness in our community about Connecticut’s Social Host Law, which holds parents and property owners liable for underage drinking and/or cannabis use that occurs in their homes. A person convicted of violating this law may be fined up to $2,000 and receive up to one year in jail.

The “sticker shock” campaign launches in early May to coincide with prom and graduation celebrations. Youth representatives from Thriving Youth Darien, The Community Fund of Darien’s Youth Asset Team, and The Depot’s Students Against Destructive Decisions group will place signage and stickers with the reminder “If teens can’t buy it, don’t supply it” at participating local wine and liquor retailers. The stickers also direct residents to this webpage for more information about the social host law, along with free resources and tips for parents to talk to their kids about alcohol and other substances. A special thank you Sipstirs, Frate’s Wines and Liquors, and Leary’s Liquor Cabinet for partnering with Thriving Youth Darien and Darien Police Department to share this important message with our community.


The educational campaign will continue in May and June with social media posts highlighting CT’s social host law and findings related to underage drinking from the 2023 Darien Youth Survey. Follow @thrivingyouthdarien on Instagram and Facebook for posts and the latest updates about this important initiative!

Following is an important reminder about the Social Host Law in Connecticut

from the Darien Police Department:


  • Connecticut has a strict “Social Host” or “House Party” law that holds parents and property owners liable for underage drinking and/or cannabis use that occurs in their homes.

  • Anyone who owns, rents, or controls property (indoor or outdoor) where a party or gathering is held is seen as a “host” under Connecticut’s Social Host law. This includes homeowners, landowners, parents, and guardians.

  • Juveniles may also be charged as hosts, such as in the case of teenagers who throw a party while their parents are out of town. There is no minimum age to be considered a host.

  • Under the Social Host Law, it’s a Class A misdemeanor to allow minors to drink alcohol or use cannabis in your home or on your property. For your first violation, you may be fined up to $2,000 and receive up to one year in jail.

  • Depending on the situation, you could also face additional charges related to the incident. For example, if you are found to have provided alcohol to minors, you can be charged with a Class E felony, punishable by a fine up to $3,500 and up to 18 months in jail. You may also be held civilly liable for injuries, accidents, or incidents that stem from underage drinking. This means if a minor becomes intoxicated on your property, and then commits a crime or gets into an accident resulting in injury, death, or property damage, you can be sued by the minor and/or by an injured third party.

Talk to the youth/teens in your life about the consequences of this law,

especially as we get closer to prom and graduation celebrations.

For 6 tips to keep kids safe, healthy and alcohol-free, click here (CT’s official state website).

Other CT Social Host Law Resources:


From CT’s Office of Legislative Research:

Criminal Penalties for Alcohol Possession by Minors summarizes the criminal penalties in Connecticut law for (1) homeowners who knowingly allow minors (i.e., under age 21) to possess alcohol on their property and (2) minors found in possession of alcohol.


From the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:

Parents – Talk With Your High School Grads About Celebrating Safely


Alcohol and the Adolescent Brain


From The Hub: Behavioral Health Action Organization for Southwestern CT:

Connecticut’s Social Host Law, Underage Drinking, and What It Means For Your Family


For more information about talking with teens about alcohol and other drugs,

please visit Thriving Youth Darien’s Substance Use Resources page on our website.

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