Social Host Liability: Who Is at Fault?

Loved ones, co-workers, and friends come closer together during the holiday season. Whether it’s a holiday party or New Year’s celebration, other than food, everyone knows that alcoholic beverages are a must for any event.

But what legal risks are involved when you serve alcohol to guests at your holiday event? This blog will inform you of the liability issues relating to social host liability.

Social Host Liability

“Social host liability” is a legal concept which holds the host of a party or event liable for guests who became intoxicated and caused harm to a third party, in certain cases. In many states, the social host may be held responsible for serving alcohol to anyone who ends up injuring others due to being intoxicated. However, under Pennsylvania’s civil alcohol laws, only establishments who have a license to serve alcohol are responsible for what happens to their customers.

Who is at Fault?

In Pennsylvania, social hosts can only be held responsible if the injuries were caused by someone under the age of 21. The state of Pennsylvania stands strong by this, as they have been throwing out many cases in which the person was clearly intoxicated, but over the legal drinking age of 21.

The state feels that adults should be held fully accountable for their actions, as they are able to control the amount they drink, as well as the actions they make under the influence. While minors, on the other hand, aren’t believed to have that same level of responsibility and accountability for their actions.

The law in Pennsylvania dives even deeper, not only does the victim have to be a minor, the social host must have also knowingly furnished the alcohol to said minor. For instance, you host an event and your 17-year-old daughter is there with her friends. If your daughter were to drink your alcohol, without your consent and then get into a car accident, you would very likely never be held liable for any harm done. However, if you served her a mixed drink, you may be held liable.

Related Posts
Put Us On Your Side

I confirm I want to opt-in and receive news and marketing communication.
Text Marketing Terms and Conditions: We are using a text messaging platform, which is subject to the following terms and conditions. By opting-in for our text marketing and notifications in, you agree to these terms and conditions. By entering your phone number, you agree that we may send you text notifications and text marketing. You acknowledge that consent is not a condition for any purchase. This data will be used for sending you targeted marketing messages and notifications. Upon sending the text messages, your phone number will be passed to a text messages operator to fulfill their delivery. If you wish to unsubscribe from receiving text marketing messages and notifications reply with STOP to any mobile message sent from us or use the unsubscribe link we provided you with in any of our messages. You understand and agree that alternative methods of opting out, such as using alternative words or requests will not be accounted as a reasonable means of opting out. Message and data rates may apply. For any questions please text "HELP" to the number you received the messages from. You can also contact us for more information. If you wish to opt out please follow the procedures above.