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Social Host Laws: What Party Hosts Need to Know

Updated February 28, 2019 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

It’s hard to believe the holidays are upon us once again. For some party hosts, it means popping the top on a bottle of bubbly or spicing up the eggnog. The end of the year is a time to celebrate for many reasons, but what happens when you let your guests get too jolly? The party host could find themselves dealing with an unwanted hangover.

Individuals and employers hosting parties can be held liable in cases where a guest or third party is injured in an accident related to the alcohol consumed at the party. Hosts could be held liable for items such as vehicle repair costs, lost time from work, medical bills, and even wrongful death.

Indiana Intoxication Laws

Indiana law specifically states that it is unlawful for a person to provide alcoholic beverages to another person who is intoxicated if the they know that the other person is intoxicated. Further, a person who furnishes an alcoholic beverage to a person is also liable for damages in a civil action suit if the person furnishing the alcoholic beverage had actual knowledge that the person to whom the alcoholic beverage was furnished was visibly intoxicated at the time the alcoholic beverage was furnished and it is a proximate cause of death, injury or damage to a third party.

Indiana Social Host Laws

Unlike dram shop laws, which targets the commercial sale of alcohol, social host laws focus on those in control of residential places where minors and guests could consume alcohol. Thus, homeowners, landlords, and tenants are all at risk. If you plan on hosting a party this holiday season, follow these tips:

  • Limit guests to those you know
  • Provide food and non-alcoholic beverages for guests
  • Arrange transportation or overnight accommodations for guests
  • Review your insurance policy before the event to ensure proper liability coverage
  • Stay alert. Always remember your responsibilities as the host
  • Arrange activities that don’t require alcohol
  • Do not encourage excessive drinking by guests
  • Stop serving guests who are visibly intoxicated

We would like to wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season and a joyous new year!

Contact a Premises Liability Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or if you have questions about Indiana’s social host laws, contact the Indianapolis Premises Liability Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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