This article is written about host’s liability as construed by Arizona law.
As with any big date — be it Christmas, NYE, the Super Bowl, Spring Break or Memorial Day — Arizona residents will host backyard parties. Well, they need to take caution when hosting parties. In Arizona, a social host, or party thrower, can be held legally responsible when an inebriated guest causes damage (bodily or property). To ensure celebrations do not lead to host’s liability, hosts should take certain precautions to keep their guests and others on the road safe.
Dram shop laws
In Arizona, a liquor licensee can be held liable for selling alcohol to someone who is obviously intoxicated. A person is classified as obviously intoxicated when his or her physical faculties are substantially impaired. This is shown if a reasonable person would notice significantly uncoordinated physical action or significant physical dysfunction. Dram shop cases are civil, so the host’s liability is expressed in terms of monetary damages.
Host’s liability with non-minors
As a general rule, a host is not responsible when a person of legal drinking age causes injuries or property damage following a party. However, if the party host knows the guest in inebriated and permits him or her to get the keys and leave, then there is potential liability.
Strategies to limit host’s liability from the get-go
It may be socially awkward to prevent a guest from drinking too much, especially when the guest is already intoxicated. A few pointers coud be of help to defuse a “crisis”:
- Ask (in writing) your guests to bring a designated driver along if they plan to drink heavily
- Limit the volume of alcoholized beverages at hand during the event
- Suggest to the significant other of a couple when one of the partners is intoxicated that it might be good to call it a day
- End the party early to avoid excessive consumption of alcoholized beverages
- Have a breathalyzer ready for action: the BACtrack breathalyzer is only $100, works on a cell phone and gives an accurate reading of BAC.
If you have been injured by an intoxicated party goer, call (520) 792-4700 to schedule a free consultation with personal injury attorney David Hameroff, at The Hameroff Law Firm, PC. We have substantial experience negotiating and litigating personal injury claims, from rear-end collisions to multi-million dollar wrongful death claims. By scheduling a consultation, you can discuss you rights and legal options with an experienced lawyer.