Can Social Hosts Be Held Liable for DUI Accidents?

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Liability for a DUI accident can be placed on a number of different parties in Kentucky, including the establishment the vendor that served or sold the alcohol which caused the inebriation. Only a few states have this type of law, known as a “dram shop” law, on the books, but those who qualify could potentially hold a third party responsible if they are careless in their distribution of intoxicating alcohol.

Kentucky’s Dram Shop law is found under Revised Statutes section 413.241, which states that a vendor can only be held liable when “a reasonable person under the same or similar circumstances should know that the person served is already intoxicated at the time of serving.” This essentially means that the onus is on the bartender or shopkeeper to be aware of who they are serving, and to stop serving alcohol if a patron is already intoxicated.

However, this only applies to vendors and not social hosts. This means that if you decide to host a summer barbecue or family party at your home and one of your guests leaves while intoxicated, no law says that you can be held liable for their actions. However, this applies only to adult guests of legal drinking age. If a social host serves alcohol to a minor, then they could potentially be held liable because doing so is a criminal act. While no law exists to allow them to be held liable, doing so could still result in criminal penalties.

If you think you may have a case in which you can hold the dram shop liable for your injuries, Kentucky law places a statute of limitations of one year on your case. If you do not file your suit within one year of the date of the accident, odds are your case will be dismissed without having ever been heard.

If you have been injured as a result of an intoxicated driver, you should not hesitate to explore your legal options to the fullest extent with the assistance of a Louisville car accident attorney. We here at Bahe Cook Cantley & Nefzger, PLC take great pride in standing up for victims of drunk driving accidents and we are dedicated to helping them obtain the best possible outcome to their case. We offer our clients the peace of mind that comes with knowing their best interests are being looked after by an experienced attorney who is motivated by their success.

Ready to get started with your case? Have any further questions? Call Bahe Cook Cantley & Nefzger today at {F:P:Site:Phone} to schedule a free consultation!