Can Party Hosts Be Liable For DWI Accidents Caused By Guests?

Can Party Hosts Be Liable For DWI Accidents Caused By Guests?

In Texas, party hosts cannot be held liable for drinking and driving accidents caused by guests. However, there are a few exceptions.

When Is a Party Host Liable For Drunk Driving Accidents Caused By Guests?

Under Texas law, a social host is not obligated to prevent a guest from drinking and driving. However, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code can hold a host liable for any adult 21 and over who:

  1. Knowingly serves alcohol to a minor that contributed to the minor’s intoxication.
  2. Knowingly provided any alcohol to the minor on the premises owned by the adult. 

A social host of the age 21 and over is held liable for drunk driving minors and intoxicated related injuries the minor inflicts on themselves or others.

However, for there to be a claim, the adult must not be the intoxicated minor’s parents, guardian, spouse, or have legal custody of the minor.

Simply put, party hosts are only held accountable if they are not related to the minor. If the adult provided alcohol to their own child causing the child to become intoxicated does not hold the adult liable.

When Is a Social Host Not Held Liable?

Party hosts who serve alcohol to 18-20-year-olds are not held liable for injuries. For example, if a 19-year-old provided alcohol to a 16-year-old who recklessly gets into an accident and kills someone, the social host is not held liable since the social host was underaged. 

The party host did not deliberately hand over the alcohol to the minor. The alcohol was just made available to the minor further noting that the underaged social host cannot be held liable to any injuries. 

Moreover, if a social host provided alcohol to another adult, the party host is not held liable for any damages and intoxicated injuries the guest inflicts on themselves or others. 

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