Party Smart. Protect Yourself and Your Guests
Video Transcript: Am I liable for what my guest did while driving home from my party? My name is Brian L. Jackson. I am a lawyer in Tulsa with Wirth Law Office. I want to talk to you about host liability a little bit when you might be liable if one of your guests gets in a wreck on the way home.
So there is some legal authority for the idea that if you host a party where there is alcohol service and you knowingly allow a guest to become impaired on your premises with your alcohol, then you could be liable with the idea that you have a duty not to permit them to become so drunk that they’re dangerous.
The takeaway from this is if you are going to host, you should probably, it would be wise to make sure that you do things like collect car keys. If you do have a situation where one of your guests does wreck, you really need to be careful among other things, be careful what you say to the cops, be careful what you say to any investigator, and you should keep detail as soon as you’re able to write down everything you remember about that evening to present to a lawyer with the idea of giving them a complete picture of what led up to this person leaving your premises, who gave them alcohol, how they got that impaired, how many drinks did they have, et cetera. Because that’s how you build your defense to that.
Most likely it would be civil liability, but it’s not impossible for it to go to criminal liability depending on the circumstances. So obviously be careful what you serve your guests, but also if something does happen, you definitely want to be a good witness for yourself.
Keep notes, share them with a lawyer. Talk to a lawyer if something happens. And if you need a good lawyer in that situation, one place you can find a good criminal defense attorney in Oklahoma is at makelaweasy.com.