Throwing a party while Mom and Dad are out is a venerable teenage pastime, often regarded as naughty but ultimately harmless behavior. For philosophically permissive parents, allowing the kids to have a party while the parents are home is sometimes regarded as a better alternative than letting their offspring run wild in the streets. According to this school of thought, “at least we know where they are.”
Unfortunately, there is an almost unlimited potential for things to go south when teens and alcohol/ drugs mix, and parents can end up holding the bag financially. When drunk or high party-goers are released into the world, they could get arrested, or cause damage to property, or injury to themselves or others. They may kill themselves or someone else. If any of these things happen, the parents of the hosting teens may well be held legally and financially responsible, even if they had no knowledge of the festivities or the illegal consumption of substances.
Whether or not the owners of the home end up being held accountable depends on a number of factors, some of which aren’t immediately obvious.