As required by law, any supply of alcohol to young people must be done in a responsible manner. Below are some suggestions.
If you are supplying alcohol;
- Make sure you know how much alcohol is being consumed – e.g. pour a small glass yourself or provide alcohol in single serve bottles or cans, and check the number of standard drinks in these beverages. Some might include more than one standard drink. Make sure you stay within the low risk drinking guidelines
- Have non-alcoholic and low alcohol beverages available.
- Ensure substantial food is part of the mix.
- Slow consumption e.g. alternate non-alcoholic beverages if you are allowing more than one drink.
- Be with them or nearby – you don’t have to hover around them but you do need to be keeping an active eye and ear out, and be available if needed. Avoid letting them take the alcohol away from the home or where you are.
Remember you are not able to provide alcohol to any other young people without the express consent of their parent or guardian.
See the Tips for Hosts prepared by the Health Promotion Agency
If you are going to allow others to supply alcohol to your teen;
- If your teen is going to a party where alcohol is present, the adult hosts must have your express consent to supply alcohol to your teenager. This is the law.
- Be aware of, or be involved in, the planning for any event your teen might be attending to ensure it is appropriate, and that there are adequate safe guards in place. Make sure you know who is in charge and that they are aware of their obligations and your expectations. Check how alcohol will be supplied, how it will be moderated and supervised.Check who else is invited and security measures.
- If you are not comfortable with the arrangements – it’s ok to say no.You can discuss your reasons and alternatives with your young person.
- Discuss your expectations with your teen about any alcohol use and conditions relating to this. You might need to explain the consequences if their behaviour differs from this.
- Prior to the event get agreement from your teen about how long they are able to stay and when you are picking them up or expecting them home.
- Make sure any transport required is organised, and how this will happen.
- Have an emergency/exit plan in place – what to do if your teen feels unsafe or needs to leave the event for any reason.
If problems occur and things go wrong, then check the following advice prepared by the Health Promotion Agency.
Advice for parents & caregiver: Handling things that go wrong