Henrico woman gets jail time for underage drinking party

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A Henrico woman is headed to jail after she hosted a birthday party for her teenage son and his friends brought alcohol and marijuana to the party.

Susan Hoback-Tweardy was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Tweardy says she didn't know what her children's friends were doing.

Legal experts say this case shows why parents need to keep a closer eye on their children while having friends over.

"Parents need to understand that they are required under the law to know what's going on in their own home," Steve Benjamin said. "Ignorance is not a defense."

Underage drinking can be a problem for many parents and some feel more comfortable allowing their children to drink alcohol in a controlled setting inside their own home. That's still legal for your kids - just not anyone else's.

"A parent can make a decision about their own child," Benjamin said. "But they cannot make that decision for other people's children. That's a very, very important distinction."

Some legal experts say this case sends a clear message to parents - you can go to jail for what others do inside your home.

"As a parent, as an adult, you can't lose sight of common sense," he said. "If it's New Year's Eve, and you have twenty teenage boys downstairs in the party room, you have an obligation to go make sure something's not going on that shouldn't be."

Police testified they found several teenagers intoxicated and even one boy passed out in a shower stall. Police did not arrest any of the juveniles the night of the party.

Allowing underage drinking in your home is a class one misdemeanor that can be punished by a year in jail and a $2500 fine.

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