Summer is the perfect time to host a barbecue or a small dinner party. Our state laws hold an individual responsible when he or she causes bodily injury or harm to another person. The dram shop laws in Alabama must also be considered because a person or business is also responsible when it provides/sells alcohol to an intoxicated individual who ultimately causes another person harm. The law name derives from the time when alcohol was sold by dram, a unit of measure.
Although dram shop is an aged term for a tavern, bar, restaurant, or another place where alcoholic drinks are sold, Alabama law also applies to individuals or businesses that offer alcoholic beverages free of charge, such as when an individual hosts a private party at home or another venue. The bottom line is that vendors or suppliers of alcohol may be liable if these businesses sell alcohol to minors or visibly intoxicated adults.
A social host in Alabama is liable if he or she provides alcohol to a minor and that minor becomes intoxicated and subsequently harms the self or injures or kills others. Parents (or children) of the intoxicated/injured minor can bring legal action against the homeowner-host. Any third party that’s injured by an intoxicated minor may bring a legal claim as well.
The law says that the social host isn’t liable for providing or offering alcohol to an adult even if he or she is visibly intoxicated. Importantly, the homeowner social host isn’t liable under Alabama’s Dram Shop Law when underage drinking is concerned as long as the homeowner-host didn’t provide the alcohol.
The Dram Shop Law says that if the homeowner-host provides alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated person who later causes an injury, the law cannot hold the homeowner-host responsible unless there’s evidence that he or she provided alcoholic drinks to minors.
The social host isn’t liable under the law if no sale of alcohol is involved or in conditions where the alcoholic drink is not dispensed contrary to law.