Maryland Adults Can Be Held Liable For Underage Drinking Parties - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Adults Can Be Held Liable For Underage Drinking Parties

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MD Appeals Court Rules On Underage Drinking Parties Held By Adults (WBOC) MD Appeals Court Rules On Underage Drinking Parties Held By Adults (WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md.- Maryland adults hosting underage drinking parties for teens can now be held liable for their drunk guests. In a landmark decision on Tuesday, Maryland's Court of Appeals made this ruling.

The court's ruling comes from two lawsuits filed by victims of underage drinking parties hosted by adults. The first, from Howard County, involved 17-year old Steven Dankos, who was killed in a crash after he got drunk at a friend's party in 2009 and then rode in the back of a pickup truck of a 22-year old man who was also drunk. 

The second, from Baltimore County involved a woman, Manal Kiriakos who was struck while walking her dogs by an 18-year old drunk driver who had been drinking at the home of a man he worked with.

In the unanimous decision, the Maryland Court of Appeals said adults can be held civilly liable for injuries caused by drunk underage guests. Michael Metzman lives in Salisbury and doesn't agree with the ruling. 

"It's unfair because you can't always control who enters your home during a party. The circumstances are very situational and one case could be completely different from another making it very difficult and hard to rule, even harder to enforce," Metzman said. 

The decision was based on a Maryland criminal law that makes it illegal to serve alcohol to underage people outside of immediate family and religious services in Maryland. 
 

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