Many DUI violations happen when a person leaves a party after having too much to drink. What many people don’t know is that in this situation the party host can be held liable for the actions of a person who drinks at their party and then gets behind the wheel and injures someone.
These rules are established by the Minnesota Social Host Liability Laws. Under these laws, a person injured by an intoxicated minor behind the wheel may claim damages against the adult (over 21 years of age) who gave the minor alcohol and/or knowingly allowed them to drink on the premises.
The “Social Host Liability Act” of 2000 (Minnesota Statute section 340A.90)states that a person injured by an intoxicated minor behind the wheel may claim damages against an adult (over 21 years of age) who:
- had control over the premises and, being in a reasonable position to prevent the consumption of alcoholic beverages by the person under the age of 21, knowingly or recklessly permitted the consumption, resulting in the minor’s intoxication; or
- sold, bartered, furnished, or gave to, or purchased for the person under the age of 21 alcoholic beverages that caused the intoxication of that person.10
Certain Minnesota counties and cities also have in place criminal penalties for social host liability violations. The goal of these penalties is to discourage hosts from serving minors even more by holding them criminally liable for their actions.
So if you are hosting a party this holiday season, be mindful of how much your guests are drinking and confront them if they try to get behind the wheel after having too much.