What is social host liability?

Bars in Kentucky and throughout the country have a huge responsibility in serving alcohol. If an intoxicated patron gets into a car accident after they leave the bar, the bartender who over served them could be partially liable. But did you know that you have similar liability as a party host when you serve alcohol to your guests?

Social host liability

While there is no statewide social host liability law in Kentucky, there are local ordinances that vary from city to city. In areas where a social host can be sued for damages, the host of a party has liability similar to dram shop liability. If the guests at the host’s party drink too much and injure another person, the host could be liable.

Why being a social host is more difficult than bar tending

House parties are usually casual events where guests serve themselves. Unlike a bar, guests at a party typically don’t have to ask to be served more alcohol. That can make monitoring guests’ alcohol intake difficult, if not impossible. However, social hosts can still be sued for drunken guests’ behavior during and after a party.

Social hosts can be sued for what an intoxicated guest does to another person or themselves. For example, if a drunken guest punches another guest and then falls down the stairs, the host could potentially be liable for two people’s injuries.

Prevent drunk driving

One of the worst things that a social host can do is let drunken guests drive home intoxicated. If you know that guests will be drinking at your house, it may be a good idea to take their keys at the door. Later on, you can decide not to give the keys back to them if they have been drinking.


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