Some states let family members provide alcohol to individuals younger than 21, as long as it occurs in a private home or location. No states let anyone other than a family member provide alcohol to a minor, even in a private setting, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
Many states also have laws that hold social hosts responsible for underage drinking activities that happen in their homes, even if the hosts didn’t provide the alcohol, the FTC notes. All states prohibit minors from possessing alcohol, but not all states prohibit them from purchasing alcohol, the Alcohol Policy Information System notes. States that separate the laws against possession from those against purchases often treat a purchase as a more serious violation.