State of RI Social Host Laws
Rhode Island is one of a majority of states that maintain social host laws (i.e. laws about providing alcohol to underage persons).
- It is against the law for a host to “permit” an underage person to consume alcohol or to charge others for drinking without a liquor license.
- “Permit” is defined as “to give permission for, or approval of, the possession or consumption of a alcoholic beverage by any form of conduct, that would cause a reasonable person to believe that permission or approval has been given.”
Social Host Law Consequences
- First offense is a misdemeanor punishable by a minimum fine of $350 and a maximum fine of $1,000, and/or a prison sentence not to exceed six months.
- Second offense is a misdemeanor punishable by a minimum fine of $750 and maximum fine of $1,000 and/or a prison sentence not to exceed one year.
- Third and subsequent offenses are a felony punishable by minimum fine of $1,000 and maximum fine of $2,500 and/or a prison sentence not to exceed 3 years.
- For 18 to 21 year-olds, there may be a civil penalty of not more than $500 and required attendance at an educational program approved by the Department of Health designed to recognize the dangers of underage drinking as well as completion of up to 30 hours of community service.