Most states have laws that penalize any store owner that has sold liquor to a minor. Now some states have passed laws that permit imposition of a similar punishment on a party host.
Definition of a host:
Anyone providing alcohol to a guest, someone that drinks it. This provision would appear to exempt those hosts that provided guests with liquor to take home with them. As written, the new laws do not seem to apply to such hosts that have carried out such an action.
Types of charges placed on hosts:
Charge against the 1st party: This allows an injured minor to sue the person that offered him or her an alcoholic drink. If the host did not know the guest’s age, and the same guest failed to say that he or she was a minor, the host could not be charged.
Charge against a 3rd party: This is made by an injured victim when a drunk driver has come from some event or celebration. There must be evidence that the host exhibited one of 2 types of behavior.
Behavior of host that can be charged as 3rd party, i.e. being among those involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver:
Such hosts are more than simply negligent. Some of them engage in performing reckless actions. Often, such a host insists on refilling a guest’s glass, or on continuing to offer drink after drink, even though the accepting guest appears intoxicated. In other words, the host’s actions display a disregard for any obvious risk.
Other hosts exhibit unacceptable conduct, but appear to do so intentionally. A host’s appreciation of the situation would count as evidence of intentional behavior. There is another type of action that matches with intentional behavior. That is one that has been carried out, despite a host’s knowledge of the expected outcome.
That does not mean that adults that should have known better could be charged as a 3rd party. Only adults with an experience and background that guarantees possession of the requisite knowledge can be charged for triggering occurrence of a drunk driving incident.
Holes in the law:
Suppose the drinking has been done at a Frat party. Who gets stamped with the title of host? Would that be any person that served drinks or the person in charge of the celebration? If it was an on-campus celebration, could the institution be charged with complicity?
How can this law be used as an example of the regulations needed, when members of the public take advantage of the chance to buy and use recreational marijuana? How does usage of marijuana take place at a party? Does the host serve it, or does a guest bring it? That is why it is important to consult with a personal injury lawyer in Cornwall, if there has been a situation that needs legal clarity.