Social Host Liability in New York - Law Offices of Evan W. Kohn

On weekends and during holidays like Memorial Day and the fourth of July, it is common for people to drink at restaurants, bars, and social gatherings. Unfortunately, many people have one too many drinks and get behind the wheel. Operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of .08% or higher is more than just illegal – it is dangerous.

If you or someone you love is injured by a drunk driver, consult with an experienced accident attorney immediately. Depending on the circumstances of your case, in addition to a civil suit against the driver, you may have grounds for compensation under the state’s dram shop laws.

What is social host liability?

Many states have enacted social host liability laws. These statutes are designed to hold private hosts liable for providing guests with too much alcohol. They are not to be confused with dram shop laws that target commercial enterprises like taverns and pubs.

In New York, the social host law only applies to private hosts that provide alcohol to a minor, “This law serves to deter the consumption of alcoholic beverages by minors at private homes.” For example, if someone has a house party and gives an underage person alcohol, the parents of the minor would have grounds to file a lawsuit against the host of the party. New York’s social host law does not apply to adults who serve adults.

NY dram shop law

You may be surprised to learn that New York has a law that prohibits commercial establishments from serving anyone who is visibly intoxicated. The law allows a third party to sue a tavern, bar, restaurant, etc., if that party is injured by someone who was overserved at the establishment. For example, if a visibly drunk person is served more alcohol at a tavern and that person then crashes their vehicle into your car, causing you injury, you would be able to take legal action against the bar responsible for serving the defendant.

It is important to recognize that NY dram shop laws apply to pedestrians as well, not just car accidents. Imagine that you are walking on the sidewalk when a drunk person stumbles out of a bar and starts a fight with you. If you suffered any injuries, you would be able to file a lawsuit against the bar or pub that served the person who hit you.

Contact an experienced New York injury lawyer

At the The Law Offices of Evan W. Kohn, our personal injury lawyer Bronx is dedicated to providing personalized legal care to New Yorkers who suffer in car, truck, slip and fall, and other accidents.

If you or a loved one is injured by an intoxicated person, we are ready to fight zealously to help you get the compensation you deserve.  To schedule a consultation to discuss your case with a skilled car accident lawyer Bronx, call 718-409-5500  or contact us online.   

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