Is it illegal to be around underage drinking?

If a person age 19 was at a party, yet did not consume alcohol while others above the age of 18 but below 21 did, is it against any laws in VA?

Asked on May 1, 2017 under Criminal Law, Virginia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

So long as the person did not consume or possess any alcohol, then they should be in the clear. Also, they must not provided any alchol to any one else.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you are not legally responsible for the illegal acts of others unless you participated in or helped them in some way. So if the 19-year-old did not buy the alcohol or provide it, and also did not consume it, he is not liable or resonsible for what others do with one exception: if any of the other drinkers are someone over whom he has legal guardianship (e.g. one is his 15-year-old brother, over whom he was appointed legal guardian for some reason), he can liable due to his legal guardianship.

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