Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

15 Shots Killed Shelby Allen

What's perhaps more shocking is that the 17-year-old drank them at a friend's house, while the parents were home. Here, how her mom is fighting to make sure no other child dies this way

The "Safe Home" Hoax continued...

As they spoke with the police, the Allens were shocked to discover that although providing alcohol to a minor who was not one's own child was illegal in California, the state provided significant immunity to hosts in this situation through what was known as Civil Code Section 1714, which became law in 1978. When it was enacted, lawmakers felt that too many suits were being filed against deep-pocketed hosts - that guests were overindulging, which led to injury, and then refusing to assume blame. In a nutshell, the code says those who choose to drink too much are responsible for what happens, not those who provide the alcohol.

Currently, 23 states have some degree of social-host immunity that protects those who serve underage guests. At the time of Shelby's death, California was one of only a few states to provide social hosts with nearly full civil-lawsuit protection. It's a stance on responsibility that's totally reasonable, say many - including Patrick Beasley, the Redding attorney retained by the family who hosted Shelby Allen on the night she died.

"If I put a fifth of vodka in front of you, it's your choice [whether] to drink it and how much of it to drink," Beasley says. "Whether or not you abuse it has nothing to do with me."

"Not if the drinker is a kid," Debbie Allen counters. And more and more parents are beginning to agree. "Underage drinking is not a moral, constitutional, or cultural issue," says Cindy Schaider, executive director of the Casa Grande Alliance, a nonprofit drug- and alcohol-abuse prevention coalition in Arizona that, among other things, works to make social hosting for minors a punishable offense. "It's a health and safety issue. Communities are recognizing this, and thus the increased call for these social-host ordinances."

The goal of people who support social-host responsibility is simple: "Homeowners [or renters] can no longer claim they had no idea minors were drinking on their premises. These laws make residents culpable for any underage drinking that goes on in their home and/or any damage or injury that occurs as a result," says Anthony Wagner, policy and media strategist for the Institute for Public Strategies, a nonprofit public-health-and-safety advocacy group in San Diego. (Wagner has also helped shape and implement social-host ordinances.) "Adults need to understand why underage drinking is dangerous, and that serving liquor to someone under 21 isn't worth what it could end up costing you."

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd