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Can a parent buy their child a beer?

by | Nov 14, 2022 | Firm News

You’re a parent.  You’re at a restaurant with one of your kids who happens to be 17 years old.  You’ve talked with them about responsible drinking, and you’d like to treat them to a cold, adult beverage; perhaps a beer in a chilled, frosty glass.  You order a beer for yourself, and a beer for your 17 year old. The server immediately looks at your 17 year old and ask, “ID?”

Question:  Can a parent buy their underage child a beer?

Answer:  Yes!

Under Ohio law, a parent or legal guardian may buy and furnish their child a beer or intoxicating liquor as long as they are supervising their child at the same time. Section 4301.69 of the Ohio Revised Code generally prohibits providing beer and intoxicating liquor to an underage person (one who is under 21 years old). However, the exception to that rule allows parents to furnish alcohol to their underage children so long as the parent supervises the underage child, and the parent is not under the age of 21.

However, even though Ohio law allows parents to buy a beer for their underage kids, the liquor permit holder maintains the right to refuse to serve the underage persons. Bars and restaurants chose to do this to limit ther liability.

Although a parent sharing a beer with their son or daughter can be special bonding moment, it’s incumbent on the parent to physically supervise their children to make sure they’re being responsible.  So go ahead and order that beer for your son or daughter (as long as the restaurant will let you)!