Be it a birthday party, bachelor, or New Year’s party – most types of parties have become heavily associated with alcohol and drunken shenanigans. While we are all frequently warned about the dangers of drunk driving and binge drinking, the other dangerous aspects of intoxication are rarely addressed. People falling down stairs, falling asleep in the mid-summer sun, or jumping off roofs and into pools are all dangerous consequences that arise all too frequently, in the aftermath of a night of heavy drinking. It is a known fact that alcohol diminishes decision making capabilities and alertness levels.
The legal concept of social host liability places the guests of such an alcohol fueled party into the care of the party host, similarly to how to dram shop laws put a certain degree of responsibility upon bar owners, restaurants, liquor store owners, and all their employees when it comes to the distribution of alcohol. However, social host liability takes this idea one step further, by also holding the host liable for the injuries that their drunken guests may inflict upon others in their state of intoxication.
Which people are held liable under these social host liability laws?
First of all, it should be noted that not all states have implemented these types of laws. However, the ones that have will only hold the host responsible in the event that people under the legal drinking age have been given access to alcohol and gone off to injure somebody. To this day, that age still remains twenty-one, and legally liability can be placed upon anyone who provides their guests with alcoholic beverages.
Which parties are able to file a lawsuit under these social host liability laws?
First and foremost, it would need to be established whether the province in which the incident has taken place is a province which has already implemented social host liability laws. If that is the case, anyone who has gotten injury during an incident involving a guest under the influence of alcohol is free to file a personal injury claim on the basis of such laws.
Differentiating between first party and third-party social host liability cases
In the event that the person who has provided the alcoholic beverages is the one to get injured, the filed claim would be considered to be a first party social host liability claim. In some provinces, this type of claim is not allowed unless the hosting party happens to be underage. That is why it helps to consult with a personal injury lawyer in Waterloo, as they would be able to represent your rights if you have been injured for no-fault of yours.