Northampton, Massachusetts Fire Chief and Wife Face “Social Host” Charge For Letting Teenagers Drink Alcohol

In Massachusetts, Northampton Fire Chief Edgar Lesko and his wife Deborah have pled not guilty to four counts of furnishing alcohol to a minor. The couple is accused of letting several underage teenagers drink alcohol in their home last summer. One of the teens, David Homan, 19, died when the car he was driving it a tree.

The couple is being charged under Massachusetts’s “social host” law. The Leskos’ son, Andrew is charged with one count of alcohol possession as a minor and four counts of procuring alcohol for a minor.

Enacted in 2000, Massachusetts’s Social Host Responsibility Law holds anyone who manages or owns a property in the state responsible when a minor drinks on the premise (even if the owner or manager did not supply the alcohol). The misdemeanor crime comes with a one-year maximum jail sentence and a $2,000 fine.

The Social Host law is part of a wider statute covering related offenses, such as adults purchasing alcohol for youths and establishments selling minors to alcohol.

Between 2000 and through 2005, the Essex district attorney’s office says that it prosecuted over 20 cases under the Social Host law. Middlesex County says that between 2002 and through 2005 at least 277 charges were filed under the overall statute. In 2005, Suffolk County filed charges against 88 people.

If you have been charged with serving alcohol to minors or allowing them to drink alcohol in your home or establishment, you should contact our Boston, Massachusetts criminal defense law firm immediately.

There may be reasons you could not have possibly known or prevented the minor from drinking alcohol on the premise-or the drinking incident may have occurred before or after the minor was in your home.

Fire captain, wife charged under `social host’ law,, June 5, 2008
Social host law hard to enforce, DAs say,, January 8, 2006

Related Web Resources:

The General Laws of Massachusetts

Don’t Give Kids Alcohol

Our Massachusetts criminal defense attorneys can investigate the charges against you and determine whether they can be dropped or reduced. Contact Altman & Altman LLP today.

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