Police opened an investigation into the party after parents of some of the students in attendance alerted them to a series of photos posted on the online social networking site, facebook.com.

A Scituate couple will be arraigned in August in Hingham District Court on charges of violating the state’s Social Host Law in March.


Michael and Margaret Cotter, ages 54 and 50, of Booth Hill Road, were charged after allegedly allowing alcohol to be consumed by minors on their property in May.


The charges stemmed from an incident in March where the family hosted a party for their daughter, a recent graduate of Scituate High School, and about 30 of her friends following a school-sponsored function at the Barker Tavern. Photographs later surfaced online depicting the parents consuming alcohol with the underage seniors.


Both parents will appear in Hingham District Court on Wednesday, Aug. 29, where they will each be arraigned on charges of breaking the state’s Social Host Law. Under the law, which was enacted in 2000, adults are prohibited from supplying or allowing alcohol consumption by underage persons.


Lt. Mike Stewart of the Scituate Police Department said while the family did not supply alcohol to the minors, they allowed them to drink and in certain instances drank with them.


Stewart said police first opened an investigation into the party after parents of some of the students in attendance alerted police to a series of photos posted on the online social networking site, facebook.com, that depicted about 14 of the students drinking from open alcohol containers. Other photos showed the parents drinking with the students.


According to Stewart, about half of the parents of the students who attended the party were notified of the gathering, and those who were notified were told there would be no drinking.


According to police, Margaret Cotter admitted to hosting the party and allowing the students to drink, arguing that the family was providing a safe place for them to drink as opposed to drinking and driving on the road.


Under Massachusetts General Law, both parents could face up to a year in prison and a $2,000 fine if found in violation of the law.


Reporter Ryan Bray can be reached at rbray@cnc.com.