PA Social Host Law

people at dinner party

Your Party and Pennsylvania Social Host Laws

Whether it's a New Year's Eve party, a barbeque, a graduation get-together, or any other social shindig you host, you're responsible for more than just the food and drinks. Pennsylvania law states that any host serving alcohol to minors at a party or social function will be held responsible for those minors – even if they leave your party.

If you're serving alcohol at your party, keep it under close supervision. Even if a minor consumes alcohol without your knowledge or consent, you can still be held accountable. This is referred to as the "Social Host" law and it can carry serious consequences.

What is Pennsylvania's Social Host Law?

The Social Host law in Pennsylvania is easily understood with the following examples:

  • If a minor consumes alcohol at your party and is injured or killed in an accident, you can be held responsible.
  • If a minor consumes alcohol at your party and injures or kills someone else, you can be held responsible.

Even if you didn't know minors were drinking at your party, you can be held accountable for any potential injuries or death they cause.

Moreover, if you're lucky and no one is injured, serving alcohol to underage individuals is a third degree misdemeanor, which can result in fines or even jail time.

Tips to Keep Your Partygoers Safe

  • Limit how long you serve alcohol. Switch to some great non-alcoholic beverages as the night progresses. These "Mocktails" can be great for any guest.
  • Be sure to supply food for your guests to eat while they're drinking.
  • Have designated drivers take intoxicated guests home.
  • Keep cab company information handy for anyone in need.
  • As the host, stay sober so you can monitor your guests' sobriety level.
  • Hire a professional bartender – they'll be able to serve drinks to the appropriate guests and limit excessive consumption.

Hosting a party can be a lot of fun, but it comes with a lot of responsibility. Make sure you keep the alcohol away from underage guests, and take the necessary steps to make sure everyone gets home safely.

Injured by a Drunk Driver?

If you, or someone you know, was the victim of a drunk driving accident, you could be plagued by medical bills for the rest of your life. Don't hesitate to contact our attorneys for a free case review. We'll answer all your legal questions and determine your best course of action.

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