In 2008, Dutchess County adopted the state of New York's "Social Host Law." The law says that any adult - 18 years of age or older - will face consequences for allowing anyone under 21 years old to drink alcohol at their residence. The basic idea was to hold those over 18 responsible whenever they permitted the consumption of alcohol by minors. The only exception to the rule would be if a parent gave their express permission to their own children to drink alcoholic beverages in their presence, or as part of a religious observance. The first criminal offense would carry consequences anywhere from a fine of $250 up to a year in a jail.