A Parent's Guide to Teenage Parties

A young man sprays a bottle of alcohol

Your Sheriff's Office recommends the following guidelines for parents and teens that are hosting or attending teenage parties. We encourage families to thoroughly discuss these issues. The Sheriff's Office supports a "zero tolerance policy" for drug and alcohol use among minors.


In Your Home:

  • No drugs or alcohol.

  • No smoking or tobacco products.

  • Guests may not leave and return to the party later.

  • Agree on who and how many will attend.

  • No gate-crashers allowed.

  • Lights will be left on.

  • Some rooms will be off limits.

  • There will always be an adult in attendance.

  • Set a definite start and ending - not too long.


Know Your Parental Responsibilities:

  • Be aware that it is illegal to serve alcohol to anyone under 21 years of age.

  • Serving alcohol to minors is a crime. It brings a mandatory minimum fine of $350 for the first conviction. Penalties increase for each subsequent conviction including $1000 and not less than 30 days in jail for the 3rd conviction.

  • Teens are considered to be in violation of the law whether they have alcoholic beverages in their possession or "by consumption."

  • The law also states that no person under 18 years of age shall possess tobacco products at any time.

  • Provide adequate adult supervision and a safe environment for minors.

  • Set limits, including "zero tolerance" for your child and their friends.

  • Do not hesitate to call 9-1-1 if necessary.


In Someone Else's Home:

  • Call the host to confirm plans for zero tolerance and adequate parental supervision.

  • If there is drinking or drug use occurring, make it easy for your teenager to leave - always have a back-up driver your teen can call for a ride home.

  • Insist that your teen NEVER accept a ride with someone who has been drinking or taking drugs.

  • Insist that your teen NEVER tolerate party activities that include vandalism, theft, sexual intimidation, assault or other illegal activity in addition to drinking or drug use.

  • Encourage your teen to call 9-1-1 if necessary.


Washington County Curfew:

  • For children under 14 years of age - 9:15 pm on school nights and 10:15 pm on other nights.

  • For children 14 years and older - 10:15 pm on school nights and midnight on other nights.

  • This ordinance does not apply to children accompanied by parents or guardians, engaged in supervised activities, or on their way to or from work.