Can A Parent Give Their Child A Glass of Wine in Missouri and Illinois?
At some point in my early adult years. Think under 21 but out of high school, my parents didn't really seem to mind if I enjoyed an occasional alcoholic beverage. It got me thinking can you legally give your child a glass of wine with dinner? Or share a beer with your son or daughter while watching the game on television?
The answer in both The State of Missouri and The State of Illinois is yes, you can give your child an alcoholic beverage at home.
According to the Show Me Rights website, brought to you by the Missouri Bar Association. parents and guardians are not prohibited by Missouri law from furnishing alcohol to their child in small amounts in their home. However, purposefully intoxicating their child can be considered child abuse, and the child could also be subject to Minor in Possession laws.
The website of Attorney Stephen A. Brundage says Illinois law allows parents and guardians to serve their children alcohol while under their direct supervision, and also during a religious service. The article also touches on the fact that persons between the ages of 18 and 21 "May taste, but not imbibe, alcohol if you are a student attending a scheduled course under the supervision of an instructor who is older than 21 during an educational program."
A couple of things to be clear on, both states take minors drinking very seriously. In Missouri, if someone under 21 attempts to purchase alcohol, possesses alcohol, is visibly intoxicated, or has a blood alcohol content of more than .02% they can be charged as a Minor in Possession and be sentenced to up to a year in jail and fined $1,000. The minor charged will also trigger Missouri's "Abuse and Loose" law and will lose their driving privileges.
In Illinois, someone under 21 can be charged with underage drinking as a minor if they buy, receive or possess alcohol, attempt to use a fake ID, or if they're consuming alcohol. Violation of these laws can result in a Class A misdemeanor which can carry with it a year in prison and fines up to $2,500.
The bottom line, yes, serving your age-appropriate child a glass of wine at home with dinner or a beer while watching the ball game together -- while that child is under your supervision is fine. Beyond that, underage drinking by your child could cause both you and him or her some big headaches.