Party Hosts Now Responsible For Underage Drinking

Posted on August 22, 2013 by

New “SOCIAL HOST” Liability Law in California

As the holiday season approaches, many of us will be hosting and/or attending parties and events to celebrate with friends and family. More than likely, if your gatherings are anything like mine, there will be alcoholic beverages available.

As we all know, the legal drinking age in California in 21 years old. However, at a party with family or friends, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility for a minor to be furnished with an alcoholic beverage. I certainly remember my father giving me a beer before I turned 21.

But a new law passed in California might give us all pause before we think about doing this.

Beginning January 1, 2011, a new California law went into effect dubbed the “Social Host” law. This law states that a “social host” may be liable for alcohol-related injuries and damages caused by a person under age 21 to whom the social host served alcohol per California Civil Code Section 1714(d).

Under existing law (i.e., before 1/1/11), a social host who furnishes alcoholic beverages to any person mayNOT be held legally accountable for damages suffered by that person, or for injury to the person or property of, or death of, any 3rd person, resulting from the consumption of those beverages.

This amendment to Civil Code Section 1714 provides that these provisions now allow a claim against: (1) a parent, guardian, or another adult (2) who knowingly furnishes alcoholic beverages at his or her residence to a person under 21 years of age and (3) that furnishing the alcoholic beverages may be found to be the proximate cause of resulting personal injuries, death, or property damage to the person who was served the alcohol or to other persons.

The passage of this law makes the person or persons who furnish alcohol to a minor legally liable for any damages or injuries caused by that person. Whether or not this is your child, the child of a loved one or a friend from down the street, this law should make us all extra diligent to ensure that alcohol stays in the hands of adults only.

If not, you are liable.

Happy Holidays and be safe.

© 2017 The Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter, Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer. All Rights Reserved.
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