Connecticut Social Host Law

Parents play a major role in their children’s choices about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. There are countless health and safety risks associated with underage drinking and there are legal consequences for those who provide alcohol to minors.

Underage drinking is a serious problem and increases during celebratory times, such as homecoming, holidays, prom and graduation. We encourage parents and the community to send a unified message that teen alcohol consumption is not acceptable. It is illegal, unsafe, and unhealthy for anyone under age 21 to drink alcohol.

Because of this, Connecticut has passed what it calls the Social Host Law. Under this law, parents can be held liable for episodes of underage drinking that occur in their house. Yet many parents remain unaware of this until it is too late.

This law prohibits anyone who owns or controls private party, including a dwelling unit, from recklessly, or with criminal negligence, permitting anyone under age 21 to illegally possess alcohol in the unit or on the property. Existing law prohibits knowingly allowing such possession.

The Law also requires any such person who knows that a minor possesses alcohol illegally to make reasonable efforts to stop it.

This is a serious offense and violators can face expensive fines and even jail time.

Tobacco 21

In December 2019, the President signed legislation raising the federal minimum age for sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years. Effective immediately, this law makes it illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product—including cigarettes, cigars, and e-cigarettes—to anyone under 21.

FDA has developed a webpage to provide the latest information on this new legislation—commonly referred to as “Tobacco 21” or “T21.” The webpage currently houses responses to commonly asked questions, a recently released webinar, CTP’s web statement on the new legislation, as well as information on resources for retailers to help verify the age of customers.