Feb 25
6:42 PM

California Supreme Court: Charging a cover can make social host liable for injuries caused by “obviously intoxicated minor”

The California Supreme Court sent a warning Monday to high school and college students who host liquor parties and charge admission: If you serve a drink to an obviously intoxicated minor who later causes a crash, you’ll be held responsible.

A 1978 state law eliminated liability for social hosts and allowed suits only against bars and retailers that sold alcohol to obviously intoxicated minors. A recent state law extended legal responsibility to any adult who sold or served liquor to a minor who caused an accident.

Monday’s ruling applied the same standard to minors who charge admission for parties where liquor is served, treating them as the equivalent of bars. State law still exempts those who sell or serve drinks to adults, who remain solely responsible for the damage they cause.

Source: Court holds young hosts responsible for drunken guests, SFGate

Read the case here (PDF).


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