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Georgia’s Dram Shop Laws: What to Know If You’re Hosting a New Year’s Party

As you’re making plans to ring in the New Year, make sure you are not unwittingly breaking Georgia laws if you are hosting a New Year’s Eve party this year.

While you want your guests to enjoy your event, if you are planning on serving alcohol, you should be aware of the fact that you could be held accountable for your guests’ actions after they have had a few drinks at your party. That accountability is outlined under Georgia’s dram shop and social host liability laws.

Under Georgia law, a social host, or a person who hosts an event or a party, may be held liable for any injuries caused by persons who have consumed alcohol served by the host. In other words, you could be held accountable for serving alcohol to a person who leaves your event and causes an accident that results in injuries.

The law states that, as a host, you can be held liable for an accident if you serve alcohol to a person that is noticeably intoxicated and that you know will be driving soon after being served alcohol.  Therefore, if you have not made arrangements for your guests to stay over at your venue after the party, or have not made arrangements for them to be transported home safely, you have a higher chance of being held liable for an accident and any injuries caused by your guests under the influence of alcohol.  The law also specifically prohibits you from serving alcohol to a minor under the age of 21.

You can easily avoid any potential legal liability issues that may arise from hosting a party. Be a responsible host and make sure that you know how your guests plan to get home after your event. If your guests are unsure about how they are going to get home, arrange for them to get home safely. Hire a limousine service, or a ride-sharing service for the night to get intoxicated guests home safely.

Under no circumstances should you allow an intoxicated guest to stagger out of your venue and get behind the wheel of a car. Not only are you at risk of being legally liable if your guest causes an accident, but you also have a moral responsibility to make sure that others on the road are safe from an intoxicated driver. Make arrangements for guests to stay overnight at the venue, so that they can sober up and leave for home the next day.

A few simple plans on your part can ensure that your guests remember your party for the good time they had during, and not for the DUI arrest that happened after they left.

The Atlanta car accident lawyers at the Katz Law Firm represent persons injured in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia.