We are all responsible for keeping our roads and neighborhoods safe from drunk driving. Of course, people who intend to drink are expected not to get behind the wheel of a car. Unfortunately, when a partygoer decides to drink and then drive, accidents may occur and faultless victims may be injured.
However, some laws hold third parties accountable for recklessly overserving alcohol and allowing their guests to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. This may include hosts who are serving alcohol to their guests at a private event. If you were injured by a drunk driver coming from a party, you might be able to file a civil lawsuit against the host through a social host liability claim.
Defining Social Host Liability Laws
Social host liability laws are similar to dram shop laws in that they allow victims of drunk driving accidents to seek damages from third parties who may have indirectly been the cause of the crash. Under these laws, the injured party may sue the host of a private social event who was responsible for overserving alcohol to one of their guests.
It is important to note that social host liability laws vary depending on the state. In South Carolina, social host liability laws only hold the host liable in circumstances where the intoxicated driver was a minor, and in which the host served alcohol to an underage guest.
Because no specific law provides details on social host liability in South Carolina, these claims could still be filed if the drunk driver was an adult. However, such a claim would more than likely be thrown out, because courts assume that adults should have the maturity level and ability to understand the dangerous consequences of driving while intoxicated. Due to these complex nuances in the law, it could be imperative to hire a skilled DUI attorney to help structure and pursue a social host liability case.
Necessary Evidence in a Social Host Liability Case
In social host liability cases, the victim of the DUI accident must prove negligence on the part of the party host. This means that the injured party must provide evidence that they willingly continued to serve alcohol to an intoxicated minor or that the host was aware that this person intended to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. This type of evidence is often challenging to obtain and present effectively without a knowledgeable DUI lawyer on your side.
Call on Professional Legal Counsel Today
The attorneys at the Christmas Law Firm are here to protect your right to a safe road. If you or a loved one is recovering from a DUI accident and wants to seek compensation for any damages, please reach out today about a free consultation on your social host liability case. We hope to help you through this daunting process, so you can focus on getting your life back on track.