Social Host Liability

DEFINITION of 'Social Host Liability'

A legal term and area of law that deals with the liability of a person who supplies liquor to a guest. Under social host liability laws, the host shares any liability incurred as a result of actions by an intoxicated guest to whom he or she has served liquor. This law can have important implications for businesses that serve alcohol.

BREAKING DOWN 'Social Host Liability'

Social host liability laws hold the host liable not only for injuries suffered by an intoxicated guest, but also for injuries or death to third parties arising from actions taken by an inebriated guest. These laws have particular relevance in the area of drinking and driving, with the host sharing the liability if an inebriated guest meets with an accident. The scope of social host liability laws varies in different jurisdictions, with some states focusing on serving of liquor to underage youth rather than to intoxicated adults.