Possible Defense to Underage Consumption

          If a parent or guardian chooses to give their child liquor, this is not illegal. As long as the parent purchases the liquor, he or she can give the child alcohol moderately under ABC Law 65 (5).

          Locations serving alcohol in New York under ABC Law 100 (2-b) (a), individuals under the age of sixteen should not be in an establishment in which liquor is provided. The exception to this rule, found in Penal Law 260.21 (1) (a), occurs when the child is in the presence of a parent, guardian or authorized adult. Although parents and legal guardians are allowed to let children drink as they see fit, there may be consequences for these actions as well, such as potential fines or jail time if the courts determine that child endangerment laws have been violated.