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The Hart Law Firm

When can a social host face liability for serving alcohol to someone involved in a drunk driving crash?

social host laws in TexasTexas takes preventing drunk driving very seriously and, like other states, has passed laws to hold those who provide alcohol accountable when a drunk driver causes a wreck. Texas Dram Shop law makes bars, restaurants, and other commercial providers of alcohol responsible for compensating victims of drunk driving collisions in certain situations. While this law primarily focuses on those who sell alcohol, it also contains a provision that holds private individuals who provide alcohol to others responsible, but the obligations are more limited.

What Is Texas’ Social Host Law?

A social host law is a law that makes people who allow others to drink alcohol in their homes or other social gatherings responsible when they get behind the wheel and cause a drunk driving wreck. Texas’ law is fairly restrictive as it only applies when a minor was served alcohol. Under the law, an adult who is 21 or older is legally liable for injuries caused by an intoxicated minor under 18 years old in these situations:

  • The adult was not the minor’s parent, guardian, spouse, or a person granted custody of the minor by a court.
  • The adult knowingly served or provided the minor with alcohol that contributed to the minor’s intoxication or allowed the minor to be served with or provided with alcohol on property owned or leased by the adult.

It is sufficient under the law that the social host made the alcohol available to the minor. He did not have to physically provide it to him. A social host can be liable to the minor if he was injured and to victims injured by the minor’s drunk driving.

Were you the victim of a drunk driving wreck? You want to hold all possible parties, including a social host, liable to increase the likelihood that you will receive all the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule a free consultation with our experienced drunk driving legal team. We help drunk driving victims throughout Texas including Arlington, North Richland, Grapevine, Bedford, Hurst, Euless, Irving and all points in between.

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