I get pretty annoyed when the state tries to act like everybody’s mother. But the worst application of the “nanny state” is when the state actually supersedes the judgment of a caring parent. It just makes it worse when the government tries to ruin a family’s holiday season.
This summer, we had a report about a partner who was accused of providing alcohol for his daughter and a bunch of her friends during a party for her graduation. The charge has since been dismissed. Today, a tipster sent us a link about another Biglaw partner who has been charged with providing alcohol to her teenage daughter and some of her daughter’s friends, this time at a New Year’s Eve party.
Can we take a step back and ask why the government is running around charging people for letting teenagers drink at family parties?
In Colorado, State Senator Greg Brophy (R) has proposed legislation that would make it legal for underage people to drink alcohol in a bar or restaurant if the beverage is purchased for the minor by their parents and consumed under the parents’ watch. Senator Brophy believes the law will promote responsible drinking in a safe, family environment.
It also gets the state the hell out of people’s private business. We’re not talking about child abuse. We’re not talking about looking the other way when a parent loses their mind in the middle of a grocery store and starts wailing on their kid (spanking kids = totally freaking legal, “kids are the only people in the world that you are allowed to hit”). We’re talking about letting a teenager have a beer (or two, or enough) in your presence. How is that under the government’s purview? How are there people who exist thinking the government can’t regulate whether or not you are allowed to have guns around your kids but CAN regulate whether you can give your kids a beer?
In any event, the charges against Mintz Levin partner Tracy Miner seem to me, at best, dumb. At worst, they feel like the kind of encroachment on freedom that people should be far more worried about that than prohibiting high-capacity magazines from being bought on the internet. From the Patriot Ledger:
A Scituate mother faces criminal charges after police say she hosted a drinking party for her teenage daughter and her daughter’s friends on New Year’s Eve.
Hingham District Court has issued a complaint against Tracy Miner, 54, alleging that the Scituate mother violated the state’s social host law, which prohibits adults from providing alcohol to minors. Miner will likely be arraigned by the end of the month, the court clerk’s office said.
I mean, I don’t have all the facts here (we reached out to Miner and Mintz Levin for comment but haven’t heard anything back yet), but this really sounds like a stupid freaking law being strictly enforced at an idiotic time. The police charge that it was a big party; officers say they found “two 55-gallon trash cans full of empty beer, wine and hard-liquor bottles” in Miner’s basement. They also say that she took everybody’s car keys, so that when the police showed up to bust up the party the kids ran (not drove) away.
Do the people who make/enforce/defend these puritanical overreaches of government ever think about the alternative? So Miner allegedly let her daughter and her daughter’s friends hang out at her place on NYE and get sh*tfaced? Isn’t that, like, MUCH BETTER than having her daughter and a bunch of friends cruising the streets of Scituate looking for homeless men to buy them booze and flipping a coin to see who is sober enough to speed them home before curfew?
Or are we still living in a world where parents are expected to successfully keep their teenagers on lockdown before they go to college — where previously forbidden alcohol will be available in large quantities? Because let me tell you, every junior or senior in college can spot the freshman who has never had anything stronger than a wine cooler from across a grassy quadrangle.
Miner is also charged with “keeping a disorderly house.” Who knew that Scituate was ground zero for the attack on personal freaking liberty?
Bill would let Colorado parents buy alcohol for children [Denver Post]
Court: Scituate mom charged for hosting teen drinking party [Patriot Ledger]