Sunday, January 28, 2007

Virginia and underage drinking

This Times-Dispatch article discusses the status of current Virginia law which permits parents to serve alcohol to their underage children so long as they are in their home. Surprising to most of us is that until the 2006 amendment to the statute, "all you needed was to be in a residence to legally serve [any] underage person," said Jeffrey Levy, a lobbyist for Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Virginia. Put that in context with the recent Virginia Supreme Court opinion in Robinson v. Commonwealth, where the Court upheld the conviction of a husband and wife for contributing to the delinquency of minors when they hosted a party for their son's 16th birthday and provided alcohol to the thirty or so juveniles who attended. The Robinsons received consecutive six months sentences on 9 charges.