Hosting a holiday party is nothing out of the ordinary. With the many celebrations happening in December and early January you will probably attend or host a number of parties. Give careful thought though to who you invite and what you serve at your parties. You don’t want the holiday season to end with you being liable for damages that someone else caused, or worse, facing criminal charges or have to deal with Alabama car accident lawyers.
Who is Responsible for Intoxicated People?
When an intoxicated person causes harm, they are generally held liable. But that doesn’t mean that they’re the only person under review for liability. Because Alabama has dram shop laws in place, the person who sold the intoxicated person alcohol may be liable as well.
The term “dram shop” comes from the archaic unit of measure for which alcohol was served. Essentially, any business that sells alcohol could be held liable or partially liable for the harm caused by the intoxicated person. That’s why bars are insistent on not allowing people to leave and drive or be drunk in public.
Unlike other states, Alabama’s dram shop laws also include the “giving” of alcohol, not just the sale of alcohol.
Serving Alcohol to Minors
Back in 1984, the legal drinking age changed to 21, meaning that no one under the age of 21 was permitted to drink. But, there was some license given to the states on how to handle minors that drink under the supervision of an adult. That had let to the common and incorrect belief that parents may permit their underage child to drink within the safety of their home.
The Alabama Supreme Court took a stance on the phrase “contrary to law,” which helps the court system navigate, handing nuanced and uncommon situations. Underage drinking in a private home and under the supervision of adults is one of these situations. The Alabama Supreme Court’s stance on “contrary to law” provisions for underage drinking is that it is unlawful to provide minors with access to alcohol.
Essentially, if you know that there are minors drinking at your party, you are responsible for putting a stop to it immediately.
Criminal Charges for Hosting Parties
Can you face criminal charges for what someone does because of your party? Social hosts don’t sell alcohol, but as explained above, that doesn’t exclude them from many of the liability laws surrounding the distribution of alcohol. They don’t have to meet the requirement for the sale of alcohol, but it led social party hosts to face criminal charges.
Social hosts are liable to any minor drinking at their party. And, if that minor hurts or causes the death of anyone, including themselves, the host is liable. The parents of that child and the criminal court system could bring the charges related to the incident against the host.
However, when it comes to adults, the hosts aren’t responsible. Bars and clubs are liable because they are selling alcohol to someone clearly intoxicated. However, social hosts can’t be held responsible for monitoring the level of intoxication of all of their adult attendees.
Basically, the biggest liability that party hosts face is the chance of facing criminal charges for the actions of an intoxicated minor. Do not, under any circumstances, make alcohol available to minors. Inform all parents who are bringing minors that they are not permitted to drink in your home regardless of their personal house rules.
Understanding Liability and Car Accidents
Can you be held liable for the damages from someone who left your party drunk? It’s likely that you won’t if someone is of drinking age. However, if you forced that person to leave and knew they were intoxicated, you may face some backlash if they end up in a car crash.
Contact Hare Wynn for Help in Injury Cases
Hare Wynn law offices help those hurt in car accidents resolve their cases. But, our law offices also take an active interest as personal injury attorneys in Birmingham to help keep the community informed and safe. If you need a personal injury lawyer or a car accident attorney, then contact our offices to schedule a consultation.
During a consultation, we can discuss factors of the crash, such as the driver being intoxicated or having been at a party earlier that night. We will work with you to identify the person or business responsible and take the proper legal action. Call our offices now to take action fast while you can turn your focus towards other areas of your injuries.
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