Social host liability is the liability of hosts for the injuries and accidents of their guests. Recently, there has been an increasing trend for states to adopt regulations that impose liability on social hosts for the acts of their guests. This liability is most commonly associated with drunk driving accidents where a host served a guest too much alcohol and then allowed that guest to drive in spite of being clearly intoxicated.
Social host liability applies to anyone who acts as a host and serves alcohol as one of their hosting duties. The following are the most common groups of social hosts:
- Employers who facilitate drinking (office parties and work social events)
- Bar and Restaurant Owners
- True Social Hosts (those hosting a party for an event or special occasion)
While these types of cases are fact intensive and are generally handled on a case by case basis, the following are the general requirements which must be met in order to establish social host liability:
- The social host served alcohol to a person;
- When that host knew or should have known the person was or would be intoxicated; and
- The social host knew that the guest would be driving afterwards.
If you were injured by a drunk driver or are being sued for letting a guest drive drunk, you should strongly consider hiring a business attorney. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you develop your case and represent you in court. Alternatively, if you are being accused of social host liability, you will need to hire an attorney to defend your case. If you are criminally charged, you should considering hiring a criminal defense attorney.