Source AP ©

Mother accused of letting son drink under new law

A woman accused of allowing her 18-year-old son to drink at her birthday party is the first person to be arrested in her county under a new law that has been adopted in several communities around the United States.

Karen Dittmer, 45, is accused of allowing her son and several other underage guests to drink beer Sunday evening at a party in the backyard of her New York state home.

The law allows for homeowners or renters over the age of 17 to be held criminally responsible if minors drink in their homes. The law makes exceptions for alcohol consumed for religious ceremonies.

Dittmer called her arrest "ridiculous."

"I would never ever serve alcohol to a minor," she said. "I have three children of my own. I would never ever do that."

First and second offenses carry fines of $250 (EUR 180.9) or $500 (EUR 361.8). On a third strike, offenders can face up to a year in prison and a $1,000 (EUR 723.6) fine.

Similar measures are already in place in communities in Virginia, Nebraska and California.

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