Louisiana Bill Targets At-Home Drinking Loophole

A Louisiana Senate panel passed a bill to partly close a legal loophole that allows minors to possess and consume alcohol at private residences, the Baton Rouge Advocate reported June 9.

Rep. Rep. Daniel Martiny (R-Kenner) introduced the bill after an incident at a private home in Ascension Parish that involved drinking by underage partygoers. Murphy Painter, the state Alcohol and Tobacco Control commissioner, said current drinking laws exempt private residences, thus hindering the ability of prosecutors, sheriffs, and police chiefs to break up underage-drinking parties.

“They argue that they cannot stop a 12-, 13-, 14-, 15-, 16- or 17-year-old from drinking in a private home, whether their parents are there or not,” Painter said.

The new bill would only permit teens ages 18-21 to drink unsupervised in a private home. Those under 18 would only be able to drink in a private home if a parent or guardian is present.