SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) -- A former member of the Chariho School Committee, who is accused of violating the state's social host law, has been found not guilty of failing to render aid.
The social host law charge has not yet been decided, though the judge ruled Friday that there's enough evidence to convict Terri Serra of breaking it, even though her lawyer is arguing that the law itself is unconstitutional.
Just more than a year ago, prosecutors say four Chariho high school students were injured in a serious car crash after leaving an underage drinking party Terri Serra hosted at her home.
The 49-year-old pleaded not guilty to the charge of violating the social host law, but she later resigned from her job with the school committee as a result of the charge.
Her defense lawyer is arguing the social host law is vague and can leave an adult without specifics on how to comply with it.
Prosecutors argue the law is clear and that Terri Serra broke it by not doing enough to stop the party behind her home.
"If you have an event at your house, you can't procure, purchase or permit alcohol on your property," said Michael Cozzolino, Richmond Town Solicitor.
Regardless, prosecutors believe the judge's finding of facts on the social host charge sends a powerful message.
"To other parents, maybe this is a Friday night, and they're letting the kids hang out, and maybe they're going to get in cars. When they watch the news media tonight at 6 o'clock, they might think otherwise," said Charlestown Town Solicitor Robert Craven.
The final determination of the constitutionality of the social host law will take place January 11.
Copyright WPRI 12