Know Your Liability Hosting a Memorial Day Barbecue

Memorial Day weekend is closer than you think.  Your initial thought is to head “Down the Shore” and patronize your favorite club or restaurant but that thought soon disappears when you consider the shore traffic and the potential for a “DWI” charge against your license.  Your next thought is to entertain at home with friends and family but is this a wise choice given the potential liability?

WHAT ARE THE LEGAL CONSEQUENCES OF BEING A “SOCIAL HOST”

In the legal world, a social host is any person, who invites, by express or implied invitation, individuals into their home and supplies them with alcoholic beverages.   Simply put, if you are throwing a party, you are not only the “hostess with the mostess” but you are also now considered by law a “social host.”  As a result of this designation, you are now considered legally responsible for your guests actions in certain situations.  For example, if you serve alcohol to any guest who is “visibly intoxicated” who then causes injury to any third party, either through driving intoxicated or another type of event that causes injuries, you will be at fault.

HOSTS ARE LIABLE FOR INJURIES OF 3RD PARTIES BY THEIR GUESTS

New Jersey Courts have decided that guests who even serve themselves at a party will not remove the social host from responsibility.  Still, the social host will not be liable for injuries of the guest drinking who is of legal age; only third party injuries caused by the guest as a result of the guest being served while visibly intoxicated at your party.

Taking the necessary precautions while planning your barbeque or event can help to prevent some of these issues from occurring. If you plan wisely and keep a watchful eye on your guests, everyone can enjoy the weekend in a safe and pleasurable way.

Should you become injured as a result of someone else’s negligence over this Memorial Day weekend, reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer to find out your rights.  An attorney at The Law Office of Eric B. Hannum Esq., LLC, is never more than a phone call away at (732) 370-9596.

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