Host Liability: Drinking and Driving

Tis’ the season of parties and where there are parties,
there is usually alcohol. Many people open their homes to friends, family,
employees, and clients to celebrate the season. It is imperative for hosts to
understand, however, that if you serve alcohol in your home or some other
social setting, you could end up facing legal consequences if one of your
guests drives drunk and injures someone, or if a guest is under the legal drinking
age of 21. Washington State’s social host liability laws (and other similar
laws around the country) are in place to put responsibility on hosts not to
allow inebriated guests to drive home and to discourage underage drinking
parties.

The statistics don’t lie. During the Christmas and New Year
period, the average number of fatalities involving an alcohol-impaired driver
rise by more than 30 percent, on average.

According to the U.S.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
, 40 percent of
traffic-related deaths during the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s involve
drunk drivers, a 12 percent increase over the rest of the month of December.

Washington State
Social Host Liability

A social host is a person who provides free alcohol to guests
in their home or some other private venue such as a rented hall.

Washington State has social host liability laws applicable
to guests of all ages. Generally, if you are a social host and you knowingly provide
alcohol to already intoxicated or underage guests, you could be liable for any
damages or injuries they cause.

For example, if an intoxicated guest causes personal injury
to another guest or leaves your party and injures someone while driving home,
you could be held liable. You could also be sued by a minor or his/her parents
for serving alcohol at your home or private event.

If you are being sued for social host liability or believe
that you have a case against a social host please contact a local personal
injury attorney right away.

If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have
enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident
attorney
fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not
uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten
times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in
Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing
residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County
since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we
recover damages for you!

Washington State’s social host liability laws (and other similar
laws around the country) are in place to put responsibility on hosts not to
allow inebriated guests to drive home and to discourage underage drinking
parties.

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Michael John Tario

Licensed since 1980

Member at firm Tario & Associates, P.S.

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