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Alcohol for 16 year olds?

(23 Posts)
Unacceptable Thu 01-Nov-12 15:24:35

DS is having some friends round for his 16th at weekend.

There will be 7 coming.

There will also be lots of family and friends present.

We've agreed that DS and mates can stay in his room and we will provide them with Pizzas and alcohol (2 beers each) We would prefer to do this as we know they all drink and would like some control over the amount they have. I really don't want to be worrying about drunken 16 yr olds. We've spoken about the fact that we will not allow/tolerate any drugs (at least one friend we know smokes weed regularly)

The only other dilemma I have is ... Do I contact the parents?

I was planning to but after speaking to DS he is considering not having any friends over at all now. His view is that they always have some alcohol at weekends. That he has been to each of these lads houses for their birthdays or just to hang out and has drank with their parents knowledge. He is mortified at the thought of me calling parents as if they are all kids!!

I trust my son, he's no angel but is quite mature and I do trust that he is always straight with me. Out of his group of friends I think he is given the least amount of freedom. He has to be in earlier than the group and hasn't been allowed as yet to travel to under-age nightclubs as the others had. He is also the second youngest in the group, all but one have now turned 16.

There is part of me that is thinking he is right and the Parents wouldn't be worried over their DSs having 2 beers at a house party where there is some supervision. BUT another part thinks that it's my duty to check with the parents that it's ok for me to buy them alcohol.

Sorry it's so long!!

Has anyone had similar?
Does anyone know if I would legally be doing anything wrong by allowing 16 year olds who are not my children to have alcohol in my home?

SecretSquirrels Thu 01-Nov-12 15:54:51

Firstly, you might get more replies on teenagers as it's a well trodden path.
I have a 16 year old DS and my experience was that all the parties and sleepovers were alcohol free until Year11. As they had their 16th birthdays one by one they all involved alcohol. I allowed him to take a couple of beers or a small bottle of cider for his own consumption and others did the same. There was the odd one who overdid it but by and large they were all sensible. They are a good bunch of kids though.

When it came to his birthday I provided food, some pink fizz and some beers, only to find they all brought their own anyway.
I didn't contact the parents. Partly because he reacted as your DS did and partly because he had already been to parties at most of these friends homes where the ground rules seemed similar.

It's hard to make these judgements and I wouldn't have agreed to it younger than 16.

mumblechum1 Thu 01-Nov-12 16:00:05

If they're all 16 I wouldn't contact the parents but I would be keeping an eagle eye on what other alcohol they may be sneaking in

usualsuspect3 Thu 01-Nov-12 16:02:27

I wouldn't contact the other parents if they were all 16, not for a couple of beers.

NatashaBee Thu 01-Nov-12 16:16:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

usualsuspect3 Thu 01-Nov-12 16:56:25

I think most parents of 16 year olds would assume their would be some alcohol at a 16th birthday party.

waltermittymissus Thu 01-Nov-12 16:59:30

Gosh I don't know! I don't think I'd want to risk giving an underage person alcohol without checking with their parents!

What if your DS is lying about them all being allowed? What would you do if you had an angry parent banging the door down?

usualsuspect3 Thu 01-Nov-12 17:00:43


Unacceptable Thu 01-Nov-12 17:01:42

I know 2 of the parents well enough to have their numbers. I'm certain they'd be more than happy for their DSs to have 2 beers. The other parents I don't know as well and can't guess what they'd think.
I do believe my DS when he says none of them would have a problem with it.
I wouldn't be at all worried about DS having a couple of beers at someone else's house.
I'm mostly worried about the legal standing. Not that I anticipate it will happen but If one of them were to sneak in more alcohol and get stupid drunk-I'd be held responsible wouldn't I?

waltermittymissus Thu 01-Nov-12 17:05:37

Honestly, I don't know. I'm sure the police are well aware that teenagers sneak alcohol! So I can't imagine you'd be in too much trouble! But...if something happened and you hadn't gotten their parents consent...I guess it comes down to whether to risk it or not!

FWIW I don't think a couple of beers for 16 year olds is a big deal. But my sister is weird anal about alcohol and teens so everyone is different!

usualsuspect3 Thu 01-Nov-12 17:07:00

I thought you could legally drink alcohol in the home if you were under 18?

SecretSquirrels Thu 01-Nov-12 17:09:32

I think you said yourself he is the one of the group given the least freedom, I think my DS was and still is, the same.
I don't think you need to worry about the letter of the law as long as you are supervising. And there are only 7 of them not 50. He will cancel it you know if you insist on ringing the parents and I think that would be a shame. Relax, it will be fine.

SecretSquirrels Thu 01-Nov-12 17:12:02

You can certainly drink alcohol in a restaurant at 16 see here

fridgepants Thu 01-Nov-12 17:13:41

My friend was allowed to go clubbing until 2am when she was 16, while another friend wasn't allowed to go on a date unless she was chaperoned. You'd be surprised at how different parents can be about Adult Things.

My nephew went to a party - he's 17 - and ended up in hospital as he got into the drinks cabinet and had most of a bottle of vodka, so I'd be wary about people sneaking their own in. My sister was happier that he had done it at a friend's rather than in a pub or the park, but i think words were had.

waltermittymissus Thu 01-Nov-12 17:13:56

I thought you could legally drink alcohol in the home if you were under 18?

I didn't know that!

An they'll be fine OP. Just throw an eye on them every so often.

usualsuspect3 Thu 01-Nov-12 17:15:48

I've just googled and it's legal to drink alcohol from the age of 5 in the home shock

lilolilmanchester Fri 02-Nov-12 00:23:54

I don't think there is anything wrong with a couple of beers at 15... but I wouldn't give alcohol to under 18s without their parents agreeing. Just my view. Views differ widely on the topic... DS had friends who were allowed to drink til they were sick from being 13, and other friends who weren't allowed to drink at all til they were 18. Personally, I think there's a happy medium and I'm of the "if they are showing an interest, allow them to drink responsibly" school.

Not sure about the legal position but would think it's different from a parent giving moderate amounts of alcohol vs a 3rd party.

In summary... don't think there's anything wrong with it, but also don't think it's your decision to make for other under-18s.

BethFairbright Fri 02-Nov-12 00:39:48

No I wouldn't ring the parents for a 16th.

I would have strict rules about bringing no booze in and no-one getting over the threshold if already pissed-up and ask your son to pass that on to his guests.

I hope they have a great night though!

schoolchauffeur Fri 02-Nov-12 09:51:09

It wouldn't bother me especially as it is going to be "supervised" in that the alcohol supplied by you will be rationed. However, I did do this for a small gathering my DD had where we were going to offer limited cider, beer and wine and all the parents said "no that's fine, but thanks so much for calling" so it was appreciated. Also two parents said to me "thanks because I will make sure X doesn't bring anything with her" and another parent admitted that her DS had said to her that he was told it was OK to take quite a few cans as whilst we weren't supplying any, we were happy for them to bring their own!! In the end all seemed happy with what was offered, no-one got horribly drunk and we had booze left at the end.

Mrsrobertduvallsaysboo Fri 02-Nov-12 09:57:58

I have a 16yr old dd and we had bucks fizz at her 16th..I checked with the parents first.
All her friends were 15, some only just.

I would want to know as a parent. Dd has never been to a party where there was alcohol and really isn't interested in it. She has tried wine, champagne with us but hates the taste.
She also has a fear of vomiting, so the thought of drinking copious amounts of cider or watching her friends vomit, would freak her out.

Unacceptable Mon 05-Nov-12 18:10:16

Thought I'd just update to say I decided not to ring the parents blush DS was given strict instructions that no alcohol was to be brought in and I wouldn't let any of his mates come in if I got slightest hint of them having had any alcohol before coming.
It was fine.
They had pack of 20 beers between them all, most empty cans returned to kitchen had about 3rd still in it...they were much more interested in playing tournaments on the Playstation and finding youtube videos of some of the most awful music I've ever heard (and coming from the little sister of a death metal fan that's saying something!!).
I'm happy to say DS and his friends are a group of lovely lads. They were all very polite and well mannered and happy to tolerate make conversion with any of the 'grown ups' who ventured into their domain.

Thanks for the views and opinions from all

bigbluebus Tue 06-Nov-12 14:35:38

Glad it all worked out well unacceptable.
We asked DS the other day what he wants to do for his 16th birthday at the end of the month. He said no way was he having a party as some of the lads at school think its great to get drunk and trash the party venue! He did add that this was not the behaviour of his close friends - but I think just hearing about what goes on from lads his own age has put him off!
He does drink alcohol under our supervision, and we have offered an alcoholic drink to visiting friends when we think/know that they would have been allowed by their parents.

SecretSquirrels Tue 06-Nov-12 16:28:08

Glad it went well. It echoes my experience, i.e. they don't really drink much much but appreciate being treated as adults.
The only time it went wrong was at a party hosted by DS's friend who widened the invite to allow bring a friend. Consequently some people turned up who weren't part of their usual group and they drank too much and made a mess.

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