As summer gets under way, many people begin to throw parties that include alcohol. In Pennsylvania, something called social host liability can cost those who supply alcohol to underage drinkers more than they expect.
Social host liability is a law that states that if an underage guest consumes alcohol at a party thrown by an adult and is then involved in an accident, the host of the party can be held accountable for the minor's accident. Typically, a homeowner's policy has a limit to the amount that it will cover for host liability. In general, larger insurance policies offer more coverage in the event of a civil suit.
Criminal charges can also be brought against adult party-throwers. In July of 2007, 18-year-old Richie Shook died in an automobile accident when he collided with a tractor trailer after running a red light. At the time of the car crash, his blood alcohol level was 0.23 percent, and the host of the Monroeville, PA party Richie attended earlier that night pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter and furnishing alcohol to minors.