Gov. Chafee son charged in beer party investigation

Aug 17, 2012

UPDATE: Governor Chafee has issued a statement saying that “Caleb will accept responsibility for his actions.” The governor also said that he and his wife “have taken this matter seriously.”

Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s son, Caleb Chafee, has been charged with a count of  violating  Rhode Island’s social host law that bars serving alcohol to people not old enough to meet the state’s 21-year old drinking age.

The single charge, announced by Atty. Gen. Peter Kilmartin’s office, comes after a state police investigation into a May 28 graduation party involving the governor’s 18-year old son at the Chafee family estate in Exeter.

The `social host law’ prohibits any person between the ages of  18 and 21 to permit “consumption of alcohol by underaged persons in his or her residence or on his or her real property.’’

Neither the governor, nor his wife, Stephanie Danforth Chafee, were present at the party. Caleb Chafee graduated from Portsmouth Abbey School and has been accepted to Brown University. An initial report of the party determined that an intoxicated underage woman was present at the party. Alexander Whitehouse, son of U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, also attended the party.

According to the attorney general’s office, conviction carries a fine of up to $500. In addition, the person convicted may be required to attend a Department of Health program that stresses the dangers of underage drinking and perform up to 30 hours of community service.

The charge is a civil infraction and does not rise to the level of a misdemeanor, according to Kilmartin spokeswoman Amy Kempe.