When a person provides alcoholic beverages to guests in his or her home, that person may face legal consequences for an intoxicated guest’s actions. Specifically, if an intoxicated guest causes an injury to him or herself or to another person in a car accident, the social host who served the guest alcohol could be held responsible.
Social host liability
Social host liability is based on the idea that the host has an obligation to the public to serve alcohol safely. In Connecticut, social host liability also extends to serving guests who are under the legal drinking age of 21.
There is a public concern that due to their inexperience, younger people cannot manage the effects of alcohol responsibly and there is an interest in keeping the roads safe from drunk drivers. In Connecticut, the social host may be subject to jail time or a fine for violations.
Dram shop liability
In addition to social host liability, Connecticut also recognizes dram shop liability. Under the Dram Shop Act, an alcohol seller may be responsible if he or she sells alcohol to a person who is intoxicated.
If that person causes injuries to another person or property in a drunk driving accident, the seller may be liable. The seller may also have to pay significant damages. Dram shop claims must be made within one year of the alcohol sale.
Drunk driving accidents can cause serious injuries including cuts, bruises, broken bones, traumatic injuries and even death.
An experienced attorney can help identify the responsible parties, can pursue compensation on the injured person’s behalf and can provide guidance about other appropriate next steps.