Legislation passed last year makes a person who willfully supplies alcohol or illegal drugs to a person under 18 liable for death or injuries to people or property caused by the impairment of the minor. This includes economic loss, mental anguish, pain and suffering, attorney fees and punitive damages, among the other damages that can be recovered. The statute bars contributory negligence or willful conduct of the injured party from being applied, meaning that a minor’s actions while under the influence cannot be used to prevent recovery in court.
Obviously, this is meant to take a serious stand against anyone who willfully supplies alcohol or drugs to a minor. It is important to note that it must be found that the person’s actions in supplying the drugs or alcohol were willful; permitting a party in your home and finding out only later that the minors were drinking or doing drugs will not create liability under this statute. In any event, prudence dictates caution in permitting access to alcohol or drugs in the home.
The Drug Or Alcohol Impair Minor Responsibility Act became effective for actions occurring on or after October 1, 2004.