Mother Pushes For Tougher Penalties For Providing Underage With Alcohol

By: Julie Montanaro
March 14, 2014

A Tallahassee woman is demanding tougher penalties for adults who host parties where minors have access to hopes it'll spare another mother from hearing the words "your daughter didn't make it."

She lost her life on the curve by the railroad tracks in July 2011.

Taylor Moseley had just turned 18, and had just left a house party, when her SUV slammed into a tree so hard it woke the neighbors. Teresa Davis Godwin is her mother.

"She was supposed to spend the night there, and for what reason we don't know, she left the house at around 5:30 in the morning and she got killed," said Godwin.

Davis Godwin is now pushing for tougher penalties for adults who host house parties where minors have access to alcohol.

Right now, it is a second degree misdemeanor to host a party where adults know minors are drinking, it escalates to a first degree misdemeanor if someone is seriously injured or killed as a result.

Davis Godwin says it's not deterrent enough. She'd like to see it bumped up to a felony.

"I feel that if the penalties were tougher, maybe parents would think about it before they did it," said Godwin.

"It's not the type of thing where if you have a beach house and you're not there, and your kids are there drinking, that you can get in trouble for it," said Attorney Clint Wallace. "It requires actual knowledge, it requires you knowing that there are minors drinking and not doing anything to stop it."

Davis Godwin says she'll keep pushing for harsher criminal penalties. Until then, she'll push parents to reconsider the notion that supervising teens and taking the keys is no guarantee that teens who drink will make it home alive.

"It can turn into a tragedy, there's just nothing good that can come out of this at all," added Godwin.

Davis Godwin says she has reached out to a few lawmakers, but so far none has agreed to sponsor legislation to stiffen the penalties.

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