Alcohol consumption in Minnesota is prohibited for minors, and there are a number of state and local laws that seek to prevent underage drinking and driving, and the damages these activities cause. According to the University of Minnesota, if a minor drinks alcohol and someone is harmed or property is damaged as a result, the Minneapolis Social Host Ordinance may hold you responsible under certain circumstances. This ordinance involves social gatherings that are held on your private property, which includes your home or apartment.
The ordinance states that no one under the age of 21 can drink alcohol at a social event in your home, unless the minor is your child and you are able to prove that you allowed the consumption for a religious purpose that is legally protected. If you are in your home and someone else is serving alcohol to minors, you may still be held liable. Even if a roommate or tenant hosts the party and you are not present, you may still face criminal charges if you participated in planning the social event where underage drinking was allowed, or you had reason to know about it.
The penalties for violating this ordinance may be quite harsh, including as much as a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail. Preventing trouble at a party where alcohol is served begins with monitoring the ages of those who attend. When you are unable to verify a person’s age, you may be better off asking him or her to leave rather than risk breaking the law. This information is provided to help you understand Minneapolis’ Social Host Ordinance, but it should not be interpreted as legal advice.