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Are you liable for alcohol served to minors at your party?

Parents or guardians of underage residents in Connecticut may want their home to be a fun place for people to hang out and have an enjoyable time. However, when someone is the social host of any gathering that involves alcohol, there are certain liabilities that can apply.

As mentioned by the National Conference of State Legislatures, social host liability laws will apply to any host who is both responsible for throwing the party, and knowingly allows those who are underage to drink alcohol at it. This does not necessarily mean that the host has to take an active role, such as providing the drinks or encouraging underage drinking. If they are aware that someone has brought alcohol and simply turn a blind eye, this can also count in certain cases.

FindLaw also notes that certain liability laws apply to guests of all ages, while other states have laws that apply only to minors. Connecticut is one of the states where social host liability applies to parties with guests of all ages. This means a host could get in trouble if anyone at the party who is drinking is below the age of 21, even if they're above the age of 18. Liability laws will apply if someone else is injured or killed by the actions of anyone who has been drinking at the gathering. This can even include DUI-related accidents that occur later.

In a way, social host liability laws are somewhat similar to dram shop laws. Hosts should consider this before throwing any parties. Those who are already facing charges related to social host liabilities may wish to see what their legal options are.

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