October 2, 2019

A Brief Look at Social Host Laws in New Jersey

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Under social host laws, adults who serve or provide alcohol to minors or people who are obviously intoxicated can be held liable if the person who is given alcohol is injured or killed. They can also be penalized if the person kills or injures somebody else. As a reputable DUI and  DWI law firm in Camden County, we’d like to provide a brief look at social host laws in New Jersey.

What is a Social Host?

A social host is a person who invites another into his or her home and provides the guest with alcohol. To be considered a social host, you don’t need to give an actual invitation; an implied invitation is sufficient. Social hosts can also be held liable when guests serve themselves at a party. 

Where do the Social Host Liability Laws Come From?

Social host liabilities originate from “dram shop” laws. These laws enable injured victims to sue the bar in which a visibly intoxicated person was served before he or she caused injury to a third party. Historically, judges exposed tavern owners to increasing liability by broadening the applicability of these laws in accordance with new cases. Insurance premiums for bar owners skyrocketed as a result of this action. New Jersey legislature created the Licenced Alcoholic Beverage Server Fair Liability Act to protect those who suffered losses resulting from the negligent serving of drinks.

What is the Social Liability Host Stature in New Jersey?

If a social host willingly and knowingly provided alcohol to a person who was visibly intoxicated under dangerous circumstances, the host may be held liable for any person who is injured by the intoxicated person.

Additionally, if the social host did not exercise a level of reasonable care to avoid that risk, and an injury arose resulting from a motor vehicle accident caused by the intoxicated person, the host may also be liable.

Under the New Jersey statute, if a blood alcohol test is given, and the intoxicated person’s blood alcohol measured .10 percent or more, then the social host may be held liable for any injuries that the intoxicated person sustains or inflicts upon others as a result of providing them with alcohol.

For additional information, or to speak to a DUI, DWI, or traffic lawyer who serves Camden County and Burlington County, NJ, contact us now.

Author: Jason Pollack
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