HINGHAM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Four Hingham parents alleged to have knowingly let teens drink alcohol at two house parties over the weekend have been charged under the state's social host law.
Hingham Police responded to a report of a loud party on Blue Sky Drive around 10:30 p.m. Saturday to find "40-50" teenagers fleeing, and a lot of alcohol.
Later, around 11:30 p.m., they responded to another loud party on Colonial Road, with dozens of teens, a beer pong table, and a trash barrel full of empty beers.
"One teen was so intoxicated he could barely speak," the department said in a release.
The teens, who police say were all underage, ran for neighbors' yards, jumped fences, and hid in closets and cellars—but it is the homeowners, present at the time in both cases, who are facing trouble.
Hingham Police said the parents are charged with furnishing alcohol to minors and disturbing the peace. Hingham Sgt. Steven Dearth told WBZ NewsRadio the charges include violations of the state's social host law.
Under Part 1, Title XX, Chapter 138, Section 34 of the Massachusetts General Laws, anyone "furnishing" alcohol to those under 21 is breaking the law, even if they're simply aware that the underage individuals possess alcohol on their property and do not stop it.
"Under the law, the word 'furnish' means to allow," Sgt. Dearth said. "By just somebody allowing it to happen, that's where the violation comes in."
Sgt. Dearth said the parents at one of the homes admitted they knew the teens were in the backyard drinking.
"When you're the parent, you're the parent," Sgt. Dearth said. "You're not supposed to be their friend helping them have a great party and providing alcohol, or allowing them to have a party with alcohol in your backyard."
The four adults will be charged in Hingham District Court, but their names haven't been released because they haven't yet been arrested or arraigned.
WBZ NewsRadio's Chris Fama (@CFamaWBZ) contributed to this report.
WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports