For Immediate Release - March 25, 2010

D.A. Blodgett To Discuss Underage Drinking, Social Host Liability

Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett and Boston Attorney Richard Campbell will discuss the criminal and civil consequences of underage drinking and social host liability at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 29, at Lynn English High School.

A similar forum will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 31, at Lynn Technical High School. The featured speaker at that event will be William J. Melkonian, the head of District Attorney Blodgett's Motor Vehicle Crimes Unit.

"With prom and graduation seasons fast approaching, it's very important to remind parents and students that underage drinking, and hosting parties where alcohol is served, can have serious and lasting consequences," said District Attorney Blodgett. "Ensuring the safety of the teenagers, as well as the public at large, is the goal of these forums."

The mix of alcohol and underage drinkers is a dangerous, often deadly combination. Accidental deaths, physical and sexual assaults, and vandalism are commonly a result of that mix. In addition, a conviction can impact a child's future plans, including college acceptances or a career in the military.

As for parents, they may be criminally prosecuted and face a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. In addition, adults who knowingly provide alcohol for underage drinkers can be held civilly liable for property damage, injuries or deaths.

Parents, students and the media are encouraged to attend.