Social Host Liability And What It Means For You

As we approach the holiday season, there is a lot of party planning to look ahead to. A big key in enjoying yourself without worry, is to know the implications of social host liability, so that you and your family are protected.

What is Social Host Liability? 

Social host refers to adults who host parties where alcohol is served on property they control. Through social host liability laws, adults can be held responsible for these parties if underage people are served, regardless of who furnishes the alcohol. Teen parties are a primary setting for underage drinking for high school and college students and high consumption of alcohol and binge drinking. –

Read more about social host liability and underage drinking, and download a social host law brochure courtesy of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. 

Social Host Liability in Your State

n most states, the law holds party hosts liable for alcohol-related injuries that result from providing alcohol to minors. This is not limited to the minor receiving alcohol, but any injuries that may occur to others as a result of that minor being provided with alcohol. In some state, social host laws are more generic, and thus not limited to minors, but to any guest who was allowed to drink excessively, resulting in death or injury to another.

Illinois’ social host liability laws are applicable only to minors, as are social host laws in the following states:
Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Michigan, New Hampshire, Utah, Wyoming

To find out more about social host laws in your state, search for your location here:

Social Host Responsibility Tips

Are you hosting a party this holiday season?  Here are some great tips that will help you and your guests stay safe, allowing all of you to enjoy your party.

1. Plan ahead for designated drivers.
2. Stay sober yourself, so you can make smart decisions about your guests.
3. Collect keys at the beginning of the party, and provide cabs to guests for their ride home, returning the keys once the cabs have arrived.
4. Use apps like Uber or Hailo, if available in your state, to call a cab for your guests.  You can take the bill on yourself, or split it amongst guests using the app.
5. Collect a cab fare fund.  Have everyone drop some cash in a bowl, to use as a cab fund at the end of the night for whomever may be in need.
6. Have plenty of water and other non-alcoholic beverages available.
7. Have the number of a cab company printed on your guest invitations.

What are some other ideas that come to mind to keep your party both safe and fun?  Share with us on Facebook on our Mitchell, Hoffman and Wolf page.