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Social Host Liability

Is There Legal Liability for Hosting a Party in Arizona (with alcohol)?

  What happens in Arizona when you host a party and there is an accident thereafter? You may be held responsible for an accident after such a party.  This is called social host liability.  If you provide alcohol to guests and there is an injury, there might be some liability for the host.  

Arizona Law For Social Host Liability

This post will address some of the areas where a host may be liable for a party held at their house.

  • Serving Alcohol To An Adult Guest in Arizona: There is NO liability in Arizona for an adult social host who serves alcohol to another adult, if that adult then gets behind the wheel and causes an accident.
  • Serving Alcohol To A Minor Guest in Arizona: If a social host intentionally serves, or allows a person under 21 years old to be served, the host is liable to the minor and to any third person who is harmed due to the minor's intoxication.  Further, in Arizona it is a crime to provide alcohol to a person less than 21 years of age.

  Other Liability of Homeowners:

  • Hazards on the Owner's Property: Hosts have no obligation (called a "duty" under the law) to inspect their property to look for hazards when it comes to social guests, but they do have a duty to warn social guests of hazards they know of on the property.  Click here for a more detailed discussion of [intlink id="196" type="page" anchor="premises liability law in Arizona"]premises liability law in Arizona[/intlink].
  • Dangerous Activities: You also have a duty to protect guests from dangerous activities that occur in your home.  Use caution and common sense when you have someone over at your home and limit the activities that may cause injury to your guests.
  • Dogs: Arizona has "strict liability" laws for injuries caused by a dog.  This means that if a dog bites a person, then the owner is responsible for the injury unless you can show the dog was provoked.  Something so innocent could cause great injury to a young child, and some insurance policies have exclusions regarding dog bites, so you may not even be covered.  Click here for a more detailed discussion of [intlink id="154" type="page" anchor="dog bites"]dog bite law in Arizona[/intlink].
  • Noise and Nuisance: Nuisance laws protect your neighbors from any unruly actions that may affect the peaceful enjoyment of their property.  Common nuisances include loud noises, gambling, promoting obscenity or prostitution, violations of any law regulating controlled substances, habitual violations of any law regulating the sale of alcoholic beverages or tobacco products by any person not licensed to do so, or criminal street gang activity.
  • Liability for the Actions of Your Guests: In some cases, the actions of your guests, and the resulting liability for a third party's injuries, can be attributed to the landowner.  It is important to review your insurance policy before hosting a party or event in your home or apartment.  If you live in an apartment, the apartment building's insurance policy may only cover losses in the common areas.

Contact our Attorneys for any Social Host Liability Lawsuit   Renter's insurance is an option that can help protect you and your property against theft, damage, and personal injuries.  Contact our Arizona attorney for more information.  We look forward to hearing from you.  Call us at 520-577-0707, or use our online form to contact us. Attorney Adolfo Lara has had success handling these cases in the past.

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