Parents and guardians

A minor can consume alcohol which has been responsibly supplied by someone who is their parent or legal guardian. (s.241(3)(a)&(d)).

To supply alcohol to under-18s responsibly you should:

  • supervise the consumption of alcohol
  • provide food
  • provide a choice of low-alcohol and/or non-alcoholic drinks
  • ensure safe transport options are in place.

When deciding if alcohol is supplied responsibly you need to consider:

  • the nature of the occasion
  • the time period over when the alcohol is supplied
  • the strength and amount of alcohol supplied
  • the age of the minor.

‘Parent’ means natural, adoptive or foster parent.

‘Guardian’ means a person who has all the duties, powers, rights and responsibilities that a parent has in bringing up their child, as detailed in the Care of Children Act 2004. This includes providing day-to-day care for the child, contributing to the child’s intellectual, emotional, physical, social and cultural development and helping to determine questions about important matters that affect the child.

For the majority of minors, their guardian is their parent. For others establishing legal guardianship requires a formal legal process, it is not just being involved in the day-to-day care of a child.