When you have teenagers, one of the things you might ask them to do is help you with your groceries. You might have them help you carry your groceries to the car or have them drive you home after shopping, for example.
It is not necessarily illegal for your child to be in possession of alcohol if they are with you at a grocery store or at home. It is, however, illegal for them to possess it on their own in their vehicle or to purchase it themselves.
The laws are varied when it comes to underage alcohol possession, but on the whole, it is better to err on the side of caution. If your child will be driving you home from a grocery store, for example, and alcohol is in the vehicle, put it in the trunk and make sure you’re present. It’s better if you can drive the vehicle, too, though that may not be necessary.
You don’t want to have any open containers in the vehicle, and you certainly don’t want to have the alcohol within reach. If a bottle of wine or another beverage was previously opened, make sure the store or restaurant seals it and places tape on the top before driving home (this shows that you have not been drinking it on the way).
Teens don’t have a right to buy alcohol underage
It’s never legal for children to buy alcohol. If you have your teen with you and they offer to pay for dinner or groceries, you should expect to be asked for your license or ID to verify your age. In some situations, stores will not allow a minor to complete the purchase even if a person over 21 is present, because that is a gray area of law that could result in penalties for the facility.
To stay safe, it’s best for teens to avoid being present when a parent or adult buys alcohol. They should not be the one to pay for a transaction, and they should not be in possession of the drinks without a parent or guardian with them. In no case should a minor drink alcohol outside the home or a religious service.