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Homeowners May Be Liable for Providing Alcohol to Guests

If you have a party at your home involving alcohol, you have certain legal responsibilities to ensure the safety of your guests. Any accidents or injuries that occur as a result of you serving alcohol or drugs could be considered partially your fault, including if a driver causes an accident while under the influence.

Under social host laws, you could be liable for property damage or injuries if:

  • You served alcohol in a garage or open field. The property does not have to be a house — if you own the land, you could be liable.
  • You are renting a home, apartment or property. In this situation, you would still be liable for any property damage or injuries that occur. Your landlord would likely not be considered liable for your actions.

Another issue to consider in terms of homeowner liability is your responsibility for underage drinking. If, for example, you host a graduation party for your child and allow his or her minor friends to drink alcohol, you could be liable if the minor or any other guests suffer an injury because of the alcohol you served. You could even be liable if your child chooses to have an underage drinking party at your house without your knowledge, simply because you own the property and it’s your responsibility to ensure your children do not compromise the safety of others.

For more information on underage drinking laws and regulations, contact knowledgeable Reading criminal defense attorney David R. Eshelman.

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