When minor drinking is legal in Texas

EL PASO, Texas -- High schools all across the Borderland are graduating their seniors this month and next.

And with their freedom of being finished with school assignments, some will want to indulge in some alcohol.

A Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission spokesperson told KFOX14 it is legal for a minor to drink alcohol in the state of Texas so long as long as a legal-aged parent, spouse or guardian is within sight.

This includes drinking at home or in public places, though many establishments won't allow minors to drink alcohol as a business practice.

If an adult 21 years of age or older, allows someone who is not their child to drink or even makes alcohol available, then that it is a whole other story.

They could face big fines and other legal liabilities.

"It's punishable by a six-months county jail stay and/or a $2,000 fine," Salvador Moralez said with TABC's El Paso office.

Moralez also said having minors in the room who are not your children with alcohol within reach can also create some legal problems if the police were to show up.

It is also important to note that if your child becomes ill from alcohol under a parent's supervision that could lead to a whole host of other problems.

"You must use common sense and discretion," Moralez said.

KFOX14 talked to one parent who says communication is the key to prevent such issues.

"I just talk to her about when I was her age. And, obviously, society is very different now. So I just tell her not to do it. I have given her examples of what I've done so that she doesn't drink," Claudia Maldonado said.

In New Mexico, it is a different story.

A Dona Ana County Sheriff's Office spokesperson sent KFOX14 this statement over email regarding the matter:
"Contributing to the delinquency of a minor is a 4th-degree felony in New Mexico. Parents are subject to criminal charges if they allow their minor children to drink," Kelly Jameson said.


KFOX14 does not encourage minors to drink alcohol.

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