Can a host be responsible for an invitee’s DUI?

Intoxicated individuals might leave a bar or party after consuming too much alcohol and be involved in crashes that result in serious injury or fatalities. Almost all states have enacted some form of vicarious liability laws for restaurants, bars and private party hosts who serve guests excessive amounts of alcohol before they are involved in an accident. Georgia is one of the states with just such a law, and the legislature went even further regarding DUI charges for those under legal drinking age who receive a DUI citation.

Underage DUI in Georgia

Georgia has a “no tolerance” policy when it comes to underage drinking, especially when this includes impaired driving. Any level of alcohol in the system constitutes an impaired driving charge in Georgia for anyone under 21 years of age. Not only can they be charged with DUI, but they can also be charged with possession of a controlled substance. DUI charges can stem from drug use as well as alcohol, in particular marijuana and barbiturates.

Vicarious liability for providing controlled substances

The problem that hosts have when guests have been at a function on their property is if the host provided those substances for the underage individual who received the DUI citation. Per Georgia law, those who provided the substances consumed by the underage defendant can also be charged with complicity for not monitoring the individual before consumption. While this can be difficult to prove, the suspect might provide the information as the only proof of fact.

Anyone in Georgia who has been charged with providing alcohol or drugs for an underage individual at a social function could also be held liable for contributing to causation of any accident resulting from usage. It’s important to retain an experienced DUI attorney who understands how to craft an effective defense when you are in this legal predicament.

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