Via my colleague Katherine, a new North Carolina law will strip you of your driver’s license for providing alcohol to a minor. But surely the legislature would have included an exemption for families, right? A beer with dad while watching the game? A sip of champagne on New Year’s Eve?
The penalty is important because many underage drinkers get alcohol from friends or family members, said Craig Lloyd, the executive director of the North Carolina chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
The law means that, theoretically, parents could be punished for giving a glass of wine to their 20-year-old son or daughter, even if the 20-year-old never gets behind the wheel.
Lloyd said that’s not excessive.
“It’s a zero-tolerance policy,” he said. “Breaking the law is breaking the law.”
I know what you’re thinking. Surely authorities would never barge into someone’s home and arrest them for allowing their 18, 19, or 20-year-old son or daughter to have a beer, right?
Well, you’d think. But then, if you’d told me police might come to the home of a minor’s parents at 4 am, wake the entire family, then give the girl a breath test to see if she had been drinking at a party held hours earlier, I’d have been dubious, too.
But it’s happened. Never underestimate the absurd lengths to which the zero tolerance crowd will go to keep your kid stone-cold sober.