Host Social Responsibility: What does it mean to you?

What is the social responsibility of the host?

If you’ve ever wanted to have a social gathering at your home, then you need to know about the host’s social responsibility. It is almost fall. The kids are back in school, the weather is getting colder, and soccer season is upon us. This is a popular time of year for people to gather around a backyard campfire or host soccer-watching parties at their homes. You may have a meeting at your house and provide alcohol for your guests. However, if your guests include minors under 21 years of age, you should be aware of the possibility of minors drinking.

In South Carolina, if minors under the age of 21 drink alcohol at home and there is an accident, the host of the minors’ gathering may face liability. This is called the social responsibility of the host. It is against the law to serve or give alcoholic beverages to a person under the age of 21. Most host social responsibility laws aim to reduce alcohol-related injuries and deaths to minors. Specifically, these laws assign the responsibility to the supervising parent or adult not to serve alcohol. They shouldn’t even make it available.

Host social responsibility

You may be held accountable if a minor leaves your home after drinking and there are alcohol-related injuries. In addition, this includes injury to the minor, as well as to any other person whose injury or death resulted from providing alcohol to the minor.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:
By age 15, about 35 percent of teens have had at least 1 drink.
By age 18, about 65 percent of teens have had at least 1 drink.
In 2014, 8.7 million young people between the ages of 12 and 20 reported that they drank more alcohol than “a few sips” in the past month.

So what happens if your child organizes a party at your house while you are present and there is underage drinking? Clearly, it served no one in the literal sense of the word. But the host’s social responsibility extends to anyone who has caused alcohol to be served to a person under the age of 21. And if you are not supervising children properly and are, in fact, allowing alcohol to be brought into your home or on your property and consumed there, then yes, it is likely that you are causing alcohol to be served to an underage person in your home.

So remember, it is against the law to serve alcohol to minors, period. And if you serve, or cause alcohol to be served to a person under the age of 21, and there is an accident with injuries, you could be liable for money damages caused by those personal injuries under social foster laws.

In conclusion, whether you are organizing a gathering or your children, if there is alcohol in the house, be sure to take precautions. Monitor what happens in your house during the party. Lock up your alcohol or keep it in a place where it is difficult to obtain to deter and prevent underage drinking.

On the other hand, if you were a minor and you were at a party or social gathering and the host treated you or had you served and you injured someone or yourself, you may have a case against the host server. Feel free to call us for legal representation about what happened so we can protect your rights in the future.


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