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There are times you’ll want to host a party for your kids or your teen will want to host a party for their friends. There are a few simple rules for keeping the party alcohol-free.

  • Always be present. You should make yourself visible to the partygoers, periodically strolling through to offer snacks or “just saying hi.” Be alert to the signs of alcohol or drug use.
  • Do not have the party in a separate part of the house or grounds. When it is centralized, your presence will seem more natural.
  • Don’t serve alcohol, even if some of the guests are of drinking age. If the party is an open house or graduation celebration, for example, there may be both adult and teen guests. Have plenty of food and non-alcoholic drinks available.
  • Making the party completely alcohol-free eliminates the chance of a minor obtaining a drink intended for an adult. It also shows young people that adults can have fun without drinking alcohol. And it will prevent any of your guests from getting in a car and driving after drinking.
  • Agree with your teen on a guest list. Stick to it. Before the first person arrives, talk to your teen about how to handle unwanted guests — who are often the source of underage drinking, fights or vandalism. Don’t worry about presenting a tough-guy image to your teen. Safety is a higher priority than a fun reputation.
  • Take responsibility. If a guest brings alcohol to the party, or drinks before arriving, call the police.
  • Do not allow guests to come and go.
  • If unwanted guests begin arriving, call the police.
  • Have a firm end-time for the party. It will help cut down on stragglers. Many communities in South Dakota have a curfew. Be sure you end the party in time for the guests to get home without speeding or breaking curfew.

Remember, it is your house. You have the right to set the rules and the responsibility to enforce them. Take a stand. Be a parent. Make the right decision.

It is illegal to provide alcohol to teens or allow them to drink in your home.