Although almost every person is familiar with the consequences that a person may face when they choose to get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol and then cause an accident, fewer people may be aware of the law that allows for a social host to be held responsible in part for the intoxicated party’s actions and the repercussions. Pennsylvania has a limited liability law that does allow for an injured party to pursue legal action against a person under certain circumstances when they serve alcohol to their guests. Another form of liability for over serving alcohol is called dram shop. This involves bars, restaurants and other establishments that serve alcohol. Regardless of whether the person who injured you was served at someone’s home or a bar, you may be entitled to seek compensation from people or businesses other than the individual who harmed you.

What is Social Host Liability?

Social hosts are responsible for making certain that minors do not have access to alcohol at their homes. If you allow someone who is under age to drink alcohol in your home, you can be financially liable if he injures someone. Not only can you be financially liable, you can be criminally liable. For a first offense this includes a minimum $1,000 fine and a potential 6 month prison sentence. The prison time and fines increase with additional violations.

Minors and Social Host Liability

When it comes to minors, providing alcohol is not allowed. If someone who is under age drinks to the point of intoxication and causes a car crash or other harm as a result of drinking at a party, the host might be financially responsible for any harm when:

  • The person is a under age
  • The host knowingly provided alcohol to the minor
  • The minor caused an injury

What about Adults?

Pennsylvania has not extended social host liability to adults. But, if you retain a licensed bartender, that individual or his business may be responsible for harm one of your guests causes under dram shop law.

Contact Us About Social Host Liability in Philadelphia

If you are injured by an under aged drunk driver who was served alcohol in someone’s home, our Philadelphia social host lawyers are prepared to help you get the maximum amount of compensation you may be due by holding all responsible parties liable. Call today with a lawyer devoted to helping you recover from the harm you suffered due to someone else’s negligent behavior.


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