If you frequently host gatherings or parties and you serve alcohol inside of your home, then you need to learn all about the Arizona social host liability laws. These laws apply to anyone who serves alcohol to guests inside of their home, whether they are serving alcohol to just one person or many.
Read on to learn more about the social host liability laws in the state and other facts you should keep in mind when serving alcohol to guests in your house.
Social Host Liability Laws
Social host liability laws in Arizona vary based on the age of the guests consuming alcohol in your home.
Some states have strict social host liability laws that apply to homeowners and home occupants who furnish alcohol to their adult guests who are over the age of 21. For example, in the states of New Jersey and Massachusetts, a host who serves alcohol to an adult guest who is already visibly intoxicated can often be held responsible for any injuries or damages that the intoxicated guest inflicts on others or their property after they leave the home.
However, the state of Arizona social host liability laws do not hold a state resident who furnishes alcohol to a guest age 21 or over inside of their home liable for accidents the intoxicated guest causes after they leave the house.
For example, if you serve a guest several alcoholic beverages inside of your home and they then insist on driving home and cause a traffic collision while on the road, the guest alone is liable for any property damage, injuries, or even deaths that occur due to the accident, while you are not.
However, you should still aim to keep adults who drink inside of your home from driving after they leave your house by helping them arrange safe transportation home or offering them an extra bed where they can sleep for the night. By doing so, you can help keep your guests and other drivers on the road safe.
Both underage drinking and the act of furnishing alcohol to a minor under the age of 21 are illegal in all 50 states.
However, underage drinking is still relatively prevalent in the United States. Surveys conducted by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR) in 2019 revealed that about 18 percent of high school 10th graders and about 29 percent of high school seniors had consumed alcohol in the past month.
For this reason, social host liability laws all over the country, including in Arizona, are much stricter when the person or people drinking alcohol at a home are minors.
According to Arizona state law, a homeowner can be held responsible for any accidents an underage drinker causes after they furnish them alcohol inside of their home. For example, if a person under the legal drinking age consumes an alcoholic beverage inside of your home, attempts to drive home, and causes an auto accident, you can be sued by anyone injured in the auto accident they cause.
To be held legally responsible for the injuries caused by an underage person who consumes alcohol in your home, you do not have to intentionally furnish the alcohol to the minor. For example, you can be held accountable for any accidents they cause after they sneak alcoholic beverages from an unsupervised cooler or after they are furnished alcohol by another party guest.
For this reason, you should always ensure that an adult carefully guards any alcohol present in your home when minors under the age of 21 are also present to keep the minors from consuming it. In addition, if you suspect that any guests who are over the age of 21 may provide alcohol to a minor inside of your home, then you should avoid inviting this guest to your home when you serve alcohol.
Homeowners Insurance Policy and Social Host Laws
While all homeowners insurance policies vary greatly, some policies will cover damage to property or the injuries that guests who leave your home after they have imbibed alcohol inflict.
While some policies will cover these accidents only if they are not automobile-related, others will cover all types of damage inflicted by a partygoer who was consuming alcohol at your home, including those that occur in automobiles. While your policy’s personal liability coverage will often cover these damages, some homeowners insurance policies provide specific amounts of liquor liability coverage that is designed specifically for alcohol-related accidents that occur after a homeowner is a social host.
If you enjoy serving guests alcoholic beverages in your home, then be sure to keep the Arizona social host liability laws in mind when you host parties and gatherings in your home. If your loved one was injured in an accident caused by a minor who was served alcohol by an adult homeowner or face liability charges, then contact the experienced attorneys at Garrison Law Firm for expert legal representation today.