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Dorm party? Don’t buy drinks for underage students

Lots of people enjoy parties on campuses in Virginia, and if you don’t go to a school with a dry campus, there is a chance that alcohol with be part of the festivities. It’s important to keep in mind that not everyone who attends college is over the age of 21. Typically, it’s only juniors or seniors in college who are 21 or older, which creates a risk of younger students having access to alcohol when they should not.

Giving alcohol to a minor is a criminal offense, and getting caught drinking underage is as well. There are some things you should do if you find out there are underage people at your party with alcohol, so that you can protect yourself.

1. Ask them to leave

The best option is simply to ask them to leave. If alcohol is freely available, there’s no way for you to guarantee that these underage people won’t drink. It’s best to ask them to leave, because you could be held liable for their actions as the person hosting the party.

2. Get them a safe ride home

If someone who was underage did drink and you catch them, it’s time to make sure they get home safely and leave your party. Call an Uber or Lyft, a taxi, a sober friend or other person to pick up the minor and take them home. Don’t risk letting them drive home, because if they’re arrested for a DUI, you’re likely to have your party shut down and to face liability, too.

3. Avoid serving alcohol without an ID

Finally, to be safe in any situation, it’s best only to serve alcohol to those who have a legitimate ID and can prove they’re over the age of 21. Mixers and get-togethers can be fun on campus, but you can’t always trust the word of friends or acquaintances when it comes to the age of those they’ve invited to your event. The safest thing to do is to hire someone to check IDs at the door of the party or to have a specified area where drinks are available only to those who can show the server ID.

Overall, most people would agree that not being the host of any party with alcohol is the best choice when you’re in college, especially if there could be minors present. Opt to go out to a club or bar instead, so that you won’t face liability if someone you know lies about their age.