Too young to drink?
Tue, 01 Nov 2011 23:44:26 GMT —
Fake I.D.'s aren't the only way minors in Texas are finding ways to drink.
They just need their parents.
"When it comes to parents or if they're at a restaurant or bar or any environment, they key word to be aware of is that the parent, court-appointed guardian or legal-aged spouse can furnish alcohol to their underage person if they're in the visible presence of that underage person", said Lt. Brian Bond with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
But that's just in Texas. In Oklahoma, parents aren't allowed to furnish even their own underage children with alcohol, at home or at a restaurant.
Walk into a restaurant in Texas, though, and things are a bit different.
"When a parent comes in with a child and says they're with me, it's okay, we'd like to buy them a drink," said Hummer's Sports Caf Manager Troy Linton. "Then obviously the first thing we have to do is verify the relationship and once we do that by checking I.D.'s or anything like that, then it's fine to serve them alcohol."
Even at home, in Texas it's not illegal for parents to provide alcohol to their own minor children nor is it illegal for those minors to consume it.
"If there's a large party or any size party at home, the parent that's at home could allow his child to drink as long as that child is in the visible presence of the parent," added Lt. Bond. "No other minor would be allowed to drink or even be in possession of it."
Although Texas isn't quite as strict as Oklahoma yet that doesn't mean controversy isn't already boiling over.
"You can say kids are going to drink no matter what," said Lt. Bond, "but to provide them any environment to let them consume illegally is first of all illegal and you know, there's reasons it's illegal for people under the age of 21."
"Personally, I think it sends a bit of a mixed message," said Linton. "We tell them that in one case they're not old enough to drink, but if you're with your parents it's okay?"
A new law, Cody's Law, went into effect Tuesday in Oklahoma. It's named after 16-year-old Cody Greenhaw, who died seven years ago, after overdosing on drugs and alcohol at a party held by another teen's parents. It states that adults will face harsher penalties for hosting a party where minors consume drugs or alcohol, even if they're the minor's parents.