On Dec. 14, officers arrived at a house that was allegedly the scene of a Massachusetts party where individuals under the age of 21 were allowed to drink. After responding to reports of the party, police were confronted by the home’s 46-year-old owner. Officials say that she did not want to allow them to enter the premises and allege that the woman told party goers to hide the alcohol.
Police officers entered the home and stopped the party. According to reports, there were approximately two dozen people under the age of 21 in attendance, including the homeowner’s child. The officers notified all children’s parents, and the Chief of Police confirmed that each child arrived home safely and no one was injured.
None of the individuals who were attending the party faced charges related to possession of alcohol. However, the homeowner will be charged with violating Massachusetts social host liability laws. Although police admit that the woman may not have purchased the alcohol being consumed, she is allegedly responsible for providing a venue where children could drink. If the woman is convicted, she may be faced with fines of up to $2,000 and one year of imprisonment.
An experienced Massachusetts DUI defense attorney working with the woman may be able to help her avoid excessive penalties by creating a defense strategy tailored to the facts of her case and representing her during hearings. Because the woman initially refused to allow officers into her home, the attorney may suggest that the search conducted by police was unlawful and that any evidence gathered during the investigation should not be permissible in court. If the strategy is successful, the charges against the woman may be dropped or reduced due to lack of evidence. If a conviction is likely, however, the attorney may be able to broker a plea agreement that exchanges reduced penalties for a guilty or no contest plea.