New Law to Help Prevent Teen Alcohol Deaths: Teen Alcohol Safety Act

p>In 2008, Shelby Allen, age 17, died from alcohol poisoning while drinking vodka at a friend’s house while the parents were in their bedroom. In response to this tragedy and others like it, the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and the California Consumer Attorneys of California teamed together to pass a bill to help prevent these senseless tragedies. It was recently signed into law by the governor.

In California, parents had previously been immune from lawsuits even if they knew minors were drinking alcohol on their premises. The new law, The Teen Alcohol Safety Act of 2010 will allow party hosts to be sued if they serve alcohol to a minor who is subsequently injured or killed. While this law won’t totally prevent teen alcohol deaths, it should go a long way towards limiting the amount of alcohol drinking that goes on with the full knowledge of parents and other adults.

The most important thing is to keep our children safe. Our teens should know the warning signs of alcohol poisoning: vomiting; person cannot be aroused; or the person is semi-conscious or unconscious. If any of these signs are present, 911 should be called.

As an Oakland personal injury attorney, I have seen the untold harm caused by teen drinking: Countless auto accidents, and too many deaths such as Shelby Allen’s. If this law can help prevent even one such death, it will have been well worth the effort to get the law passed.


San Francisco Chronicle, Bill holding hosts liable for alcohol advances, August 9, 2010
Shelby’s Rules – an Alcohol Poisoning Education Foundation

Phone Numbers