John Price Law Blog

Social Host Responsibility

Note: This was featured as part of our Wednesday segment on Charleston’s 105.5 The Bridge with Box in the Morning. You can catch us every Wednesday morning at 8:50 am ET for the latest law tips and legal news. You can listen to the segment below:

If you’re hosting a holiday party this year, you may be wondering what your legal responsibility is to your guests in case of an accident involving alcohol. Even if it’s just friends, it is better to be prepared if you will be serving alcohol at your party or if your guests will be partaking in alcoholic beverages.

Recently, South Carolina has reinstated the common law rule. This is a general rule that states the social host does not have to monitor the sobriety of their guests and will bear no liability to harm done to the guests by their own intoxication to themselves or to others. If you have friends who like to drink a little more than average, it’s not your responsibility to monitor them.

Of course this scenario would be very different if there were minors involved. In the United States, the legal drinking age is 21. If the social host knowingly serves a minor, the host can be held responsible for harm done to the minor or harm caused to others by the minor. Another instance where you could be held liable would also be if you are promoting drinking at your event, through social drinking games. If someone participates and drinks too much, you could be held legally responsible for their health.

When hosting, you want your guests to have a good time, but it is always a good idea to be aware of the laws. If you have any additional questions involving liability, contact us to set up your free consultation.