What can the law say about Drinking alcohol at home age 16 with parents consent?

The law states that the legal age for drinking is 21. There is a single form of parental exception. A parent can serve alcohol to their own child - AND ONLY THEIR OWN CHILD - within their own residence. However, the parents are legally liable under child endangerment laws if their child drinks to the point of inebriation or becomes ill due to the alcohol consumed. This exception was built into the law because several religious ceremonies conducted at home include consumption of wine. However, there is a very big difference between letting your child have a few sips of wine at the Passover Seder and throwing your kids a kegger. Also, you are never permitted to serve alcohol to anyone else's children, even if their parents give their consent. Your teenage child can aso be arrested if he serves alcohol to his friends, even if he or she is younger than 21. Parents in many states have been found guilty of knowingly allowing underage drinking in their home.

For example, the Hutsells from Deerfield, IL were convicted of misdemeanor counts of allowing underage drinking at their home, endangering a child and obstruction of justice because alcohol served in his home contributed to the deaths of a two boys from a car crash afterwards. The judge "ordered Sara Hutsell to serve 18 months of probation, 250 hours of public service, pay a $500 fine and donate $1,000 each to Students Against Drunk Driving and the Lake County Children's Advocacy Center. He ordered her to serve 30 days in a work-release program but stayed that part of the sentence.

Jeffrey Hutsell also got 30 days of work-release, but the judge stayed all but 14 days. He will be allowed to travel for work while serving his sentence. He also was sentenced to 18 months of probation, 100 hours of service and similar fines as his wife. Both were ordered not to have alcohol in their home when minors are present and must attend victim-impact panels." (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-deerfield_websep27,0,5643231.story)