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So i'm having a party at my house. Everyone will be over 21 and my one friend tells me that if anyone is really drunk we can't let them leave because i will get in trouble and could go to jail if they get into an accident or a DUI. I've never heard any law like this before(i'm from PA) If anyone could help me clear this up because i think he dosen't know what he's talking about i'd appreciate it.

Best Answer :


No, if they're over 21, they're responsible for their own actions.

Although it would make you a good host to arrange for some sober transportation, even if it's just the number of a local cab company by the door, as a courtesy. But you are not legally obliged to hold your friends in captivity.

Other Answer(18) :


If you provided the alcohol and knowing let them leave when you knew they were too intoxicated to drive than yes you can be held liable. Best advice is to keep any members that are "over the limit" at the party until they sober up. Take keys, offer rooms, etc. whatever it takes to keep your friends safe and you out of any legal trouble. If someone sneaks out or forcibly leave after you have taken precautions to prevent it from happening you have a leg to stand on in court.

Just for future reference if it was someone under 21 they will prosecute you no matter what.


I don't think you can be arrested for it or face criminal charges. However, if anyone is injured or property is damaged then someone might try to sue you. This will depend on whether you had a duty to stop the person from driving (which usually boils down to whether you provided the alcohol and could have reasonably foreseen an accident causing injuries). It would probably be difficult for someone to win that case against you, but why take the risk? Call them a cab.


Usually not. BUT if they got into an accident where a death was involved, and you provided the liquor, you could be held criminally and civily liable for the death. It's called the "dram shop law".


You could possibly be sued in civil court. In my state the only way you could be charged criminal is if you let them drive your car drunk.

Do your friends (and everyone else out there) a favor and make them turn their keys in when they get to your house. If they are drunk don't let them drive. Either call them a cab or let them sleep it off at your house. Be a friend not an enabler.


bars can and have been sued for a drunk patron who has an accident and hurts someone or destroys property. you could be liable if a guest at your party does the same

people have sued tobacco companies and won when a loved one dies of lung cancer

people have sued gun manufacturers when a weapon they made kills someone

going to court on a drunk party guest causing an accident is a crap shoot. in case you haven't noticed public opinions on drunk driving are changing

what will you do if sued, and you loose. i would ask all guest to leave their car keys with the host, or for them to have a designated driver who does not drink


If you're in Britain you won't be held responsible, but as someone above said it might be advisable to ensure that they don't drink and drive.

If there is a designated driver then lay in a supply of juice and other non alcoholic drinks.

If some of your guests come from the same area then suggest that they club together to hire a taxi or minibus to take them home.

I don't know how the law stands in America so I won't presume to say which is right or wrong. However, my three suggestions still apply.

Enjoy your party.
Happy New Year!


i guess it depends on where you live.
but as far as i know, the host of the party is responsible if someone leaves too drunk to drive and causes an accident. of course, that person would have to say where they were drinking for you to get charged.
i don't think you are arrested, but you will get one h*ll of a fine.


You could get charged if you provided any alcohol at your party. As the host you could be held liable if any guest causes an accident upon leaving your party. Your best bet, take the keys of each guest and do not return them if they are too drunk to drive.


While some states have strict "host liquor liability" laws, according to the sited website, in Pennsylvania, via Klein v. Raysinger, social hosts are not liable for the actions of their *adult* guests.


Criminal trouble? – No,
but you are open to civil suit if you let a driver leave drunk
with his keys, and he causes an accident.


If that drunk person kills or injures someone, the victim could come after you for negligence, but thats a civil matter, not a criminal one.


No. Only if you are with them at the time then you can be done for aiding and abetting or contributing.


Not sure about being prosecuted for allowing them the leave but it would make no sense because you could be sued for not allowing someone to leave.


If that was the case every barman in the country would be behind bars

Think about your questions are YOU are not responsible for other peoples actions


No. It's not your responsibility to stop them in legal terms, but in moral terms, don't let your friends drink and drive.


You could be sued if one of your friends has an accident and hurts or kills someone.


enjoy your party buddy and stop worrying
people are responsible for their own actions


You are liable.

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