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Party host liability for guest's drunk driving accidents

If you live in New Jersey and like to entertain guests in your home, then you'll want to make sure that they don't leave your home drunk. That's because New Jersey is one of 18 states that have what's called a social host law on the books.

In each of these states, a party host can be held both financially and criminally liable for injuries another individual suffers if one of his or her guests is involved in an accident on his or her way home. They can also be held responsible for paying for any property damage sustained as well.

Across many states, hosts have long been prohibited from providing alcohol to minors. However, it's much less common that adults are held liable for another adult's choice to drive intoxicated, with the exception of these 18 states.

In order for the host to be held liable for the third party's injuries in New Jersey, it must be able to be proven that the their party guest showed visible signs of intoxication when they left the host's home. Additionally, it must be able to be proven that the injuries that the third party suffered were a caused by the guest's negligence.

Interestingly, party hosts are not responsible for covering the costs associated with any injuries suffered by their actual party guests, but instead just the third party.

As for businesses and their responsibilities when it comes to intoxicated patrons, they are subject to what's known as dram shop laws. In this case, the law may apply similarly to the social host one. If it can be proven that a customer of theirs was drunk when he or she left the place of business; then it's possible for business owners to be held either civilly or criminally liable for any injuries another party suffers if an ensuing accident occurs.

If a loved one has suffered either severe injures or died in an alcohol-related car crash, then you may benefit from discussing the case with a Jersey City, New Jersey, drunk driving accident attorney. He or she may be able to provide insight as to whether New Jersey's social host or dram shop laws apply in his or her particular case.

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