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When is a Social Host Liable for a DUI Crash?

 Posted on June 09, 2022 in Car Accidents

dallas-dui-accident-lawyer.jpgWhile bars and other establishments that sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises can be held liable for a drunk driving accident their customer caused fairly easily, social hosts are only liable under very limited circumstances. “Social host” refers to anyone other than a licensed drinking establishment who provides alcohol to their guests. An individual throwing a party in their home and providing alcohol is the classic example of a social host. Generally, social hosts are not responsible for the conduct of their guests and cannot be held liable for the harm caused by someone who drives away drunk and gets in an accident. However, under some limited circumstances, you may have a right to pursue compensation from a social host. An attorney can help you determine which parties to file a claim against. 

What if a Social Host Serves a Minor?

If a social host knowingly serves an unrelated minor under eighteen years old, they may be liable if the minor goes on to harm someone else due to their intoxication. This often happens when parents of teenagers permit their child to throw a party and provide alcohol. Adults should know better than to give alcohol to children, who are likely unequipped to behave responsibly while intoxicated. Adults who serve alcohol to minors may be held liable for harm caused by the intoxicated minors. 

What if a Social Host Keeps Serving Someone Who is Extremely Intoxicated?

Another situation where a social host may be liable for a drunk driving accident caused by their guest is when the host overserves an already-intoxicated guest. For this rule of law to come into play, the guest being served must have been obviously intoxicated to the point where the host should have realized that the guest was a danger to themselves or others. For example, if a party guest has already fallen over or vomited and the host continues giving them alcohol, then the host may be liable for an accident caused by the guest. This is common at parties thrown by young adults who have not yet learned to respect their limits and others’ limits. 

What if the Host Charged for Alcohol?

If a social host charges their guests for alcohol, then they are selling, not hosting in the traditional sense. Even collecting $5 from each guest to cover the cost of a keg of beer can convert a host into a seller who can be held liable for overserving a guest who goes on to cause harm, just like a bar would. 

Contact a Dallas County DUI Crash Attorney

If you were injured by a drunk driver, Jerry D. Andrews, P.C. may be able to help you pursue compensation from one or more liable parties. Our experienced Dallas DUI accident lawyers can help determine who you may have a claim against. Call our law offices at 214-221-5800 for a free consultation. 


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