Sentencing Upheld for Alcohol Serving Parents

January 12, 2007

George and Lisa Robinson were convicted last February for serving alcohol to underage kids at their 16-year-old's birthday party.

Judge Dwight Johnson wrote a new precedent, sentencing the parents to 8 years which was later reduced to 27 months.

A neighbor called police about the party. Albemarle County Police Corporal Scott Cox entered the Robinson's driveway to investigate. According to police Cox saw kids drinking in the backyard. Based on probably cause the he began searching the party and found underage kids drinking.

The Robinson's appealed saying Cox had a legal right to go directly to the front door and knock, but that he went beyond that to the backyard, violating the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonale search and seizure.

But on Friday the Virginia State Supreme Court upheld the conviction and now they face 27 months in prison.

The case helped to persuade the General Assembly to pass legislation earlier this year to tighten the state law that prohibits adults from serving alcohol to underage guests.

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