cheering glasses at social gathering

What Are Social Host Liability Laws in Texas?

As the holiday season slowly approaches in Texas, there will probably be many friendly neighborhood gatherings and get-togethers among friends and family members.

While these are all popular and fun activities for many Texans, there are some things to consider before you serve alcohol to others on your property.

Texas Dram Shop Laws

Dram shop laws are laws that could hold a business or property owner responsible if they served alcohol to an intoxicated patron and injuries to the intoxicated individual or any other person were sustained. In states that have implemented dram shop laws, the injured plaintiff may pursue compensation from the business or property owner. If you have questions about pursuing compensation, speak with us today!

The Difference with Social Host Liability and Dram Shop Law

Like many other states, Texas has implemented a form of dram shop laws that could hold third parties liable for injuries sustained in drunk driving accidents. When it comes to party hosts, such as in a residential area, the rules are different. In general, party hosts are not liable for the actions of adults who overdrink at a party. This is different from the laws set for bars and restaurants in Texas and is called social host liability. In such cases, a party host of a gathering may be held liable for guests who leave the property intoxicated and cause injury to themselves or others.

Restrictions to Social Host Liability

Some states have implemented laws that hold social hosts or property owners liable if they serve alcohol to an individual and an injury is sustained due to the person’s intoxication. However, Texas is not one of those states. The only exceptions are if:

  1. The property owner knew the individual was a minor (under 18 years old)
  2. The property owner provided alcohol to an individual who was intoxicated to the extent that he/she presented a clear danger to him/herself and others, and the intoxication of the recipient of the alcoholic beverage proximately causes damages

However, business owners such as restaurants and bars can still be held liable for an accident related to an intoxicated patron if certain circumstances apply.

How Could Dram Shop Laws Affect My Personal Injury Claim?

If the intoxicated person who caused your injury was returning home from a party, bar, or a social gathering, the host or bar can be held liable. This is not in all cases, however. This will only apply if the social host knowingly served alcohol to a minor or otherwise broke a law.

If you have been injured by an intoxicated person, our team can discuss your case and take into consideration all possible responsible parties.

Helping You Determine Responsible Parties

We understand that dram shop laws can be difficult to understand and apply to your situation. Our personal injury attorneys are here to do the work for you. If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, we can help determine liable parties and fight to ensure you receive compensation for your injuries.

Don’t wait to act. Contact Briggle & Polan at (512) 400-3278 for a no-fee, no-obligation consultation.