Social Host Liability Laws Becoming More Prevalent

Last updated on: October 18, 2010

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Social host liability laws, which are similar to “dram shop laws,” are laws that allow victims to hold people and residences who serve alcohol to minors responsible for damages if any accidents occur. Some laws also allow criminal penalties to hosts who serve to minors.

The law passed in Texas in 2005. Mothers Against Drunk Driving is one of the major proponents of this legislation. Recently, a suit was filed against former Texas Supreme Court Justice Tom Phillips and his wife. Bobby and Cheryl King, the parents of Audrey King, are sued after Audrey’s death a year and a half ago. She was at the Phillips’ residence for a party the night of her accident, was drinking underage, and got into an accident on the way home. Although it was determined that the accident was her fault and that she was driving while intoxicated, the King’s have a right to hold the Phillips liable. They are also suing the owners of the convenience store where the alcohol was bought.

The Phillips are fighting the charges, saying that they were unaware alcohol was being consumed on their property. In most cases, ignorance is not a legally valid excuse.

Contact a Dallas Personal Injury Attorney at our firm if you have lost someone you loved in a drunk driving accident, or in any other situation caused by inexcusable negligence. We may be able to help.