Am I Liable if My Guests Drink and Drive?

Social host liability is a real thing, and you should be fully informed of this legal responsibility before serving alcohol at your next soirée. Of course, not all states have social host liability laws, such as New York and California, but most do. So, do your part by learning what it takes to be a safe and responsible social host.

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Key Facts Surrounding Social Host Liability

If you are planning to serve alcohol to guests at your next event or party, be sure you know where you stand in terms of legally liability. The law will hold you [and therefore your home owner’s insurance company] responsible for the actions and inactions of your intoxicated guests, including drinking and driving. In fact, DUI cases are among the most common scenarios in which social host liability comes into play. If you knowingly serve alcohol to an already-inebriated guest or over-serve alcohol to a formally-sober guest, and then they drive home, you can be held legally responsible for any damages and losses they cause while operating their vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

Whether they drunkenly decided to joyride across a private golf course, fall asleep at the wheel and hit a pedestrian, or cause a serious auto accident that results in bodily harm to another, responsibility for these incidents could link back to you if the driver got drunk at your party on your alcohol. In serious cases, a social host could face criminal charges on top of a civil lawsuit.

Serving Minors

Social hosts also have a legal duty of care to ensure alcohol does not get in the hands of anyone who is under the legal drinking age. If you are caught serving alcohol to a minor, and that minor, under the influence of alcohol, drives and gets into an accident, you could be held civilly and criminally responsible. This also applies in some cases of unknowingly supplying alcohol to minors. In the case that your teenager and some friends steal the liquor from the cabinet, and then an accident takes place as a result of their intoxication, the law might hold the homeowners and legal guardians liable.

Dram Shop Laws

Restaurants must uphold this same duty of care. Dram Shop laws impose legal liability onto owners of bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and any other establishments that sell alcoholic beverages and products to intoxicated customers. These laws are set to protect individuals from harming themselves or others as a result of over-indulging in alcohol. For instance, it is possible for a victim of a drunk driving accident to sue the establishment that sold the drunk driver the alcohol, but only if the driver was already intoxicated at the time of the sell.

Were you or a loved one seriously injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana. We represent all drunk driving cases throughout the state of Indiana, including car accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle accidents, wrongful deaths, and more.

Related Posts:

Accident Liability for Hosting an Employee Party With Alcohol
How to Make an Injury Claim Against a Drunk Driver
State Regulations for Truck Drivers Regarding Drugs and Alcohol

How to Make an Injury Claim Against a Drunk Driver

If you were injured in a car accident due to a drunk driver, there is a very high probability that you are entitled to compensation for your resulting damages and losses. In order to recover remuneration from an at-fault driver, you must make a personal injury claim with the drunk driver’s insurance company or the drunk driver themselves if they were uninsured.  Moreover, if the drunk driver was uninsured, you can make a claim through the uninsured motorist provision of your own automobile insurance policy.  In the unlikely event a settlement is not reached, a lawsuit can be filed and pursued. 

Continue reading to learn how to get started on a car accident personal injury claim in Indiana, as well as, your options for suing a drunk driver.

Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys
Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys 317-881-2700

Drunk Driving Accidents

The statistics for drunk driving accidents are alarming, regardless of which state the data is coming from. Drunk driving accidents are among the most common types of motor vehicle accidents in the country. In fact, read our blog, “Eye-Opening Drunk Driving Facts and Statistics” to learn just how startling these numbers are. Not only are drivers and passengers common victims, pedestrians, cyclists, skaters, and more are also injured by inebriated drivers.

Compensation for Damages and Losses

With such high statistical numbers, car accident injury claims are also quite common. They fall under tort law, which provides financial relief for those wrongly injured by another person as a result of carelessness, negligence, gross negligence, or recklessness. If you are injured in an accident because of someone else’s actions or inactions, you can make a claim against their insurance company to recover compensation for damages and losses. Such losses generally include hospital bills, medical expenses, lost wages from time off work, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

How to Make Your Car Accident Claim

Most of the time, a claim is made by the victim (claimant) against the drunk driver’s insurance company. If a person is killed by a drunk driver, their family or next of kin can make a wrongful death claim against the drunk driver’s insurance company.  If the drunk driver’s insurance company will not settle the claim fairly, a lawsuit can be filed against the drunk driver and the drunk driver’s insurance company would have to pay the verdict received against the drunk driver, up to that driver’s automobile policy limits.

In order to make a claim against a drunk driver that has injured you in an accident, whether as a driver yourself, a passenger, or a pedestrian, your very first step is the most vital one; seek proper and thorough medical treatment. Once you are stable enough, your next step is also incredibly vital: contact an Indianapolis personal injury law firm to represent you in your claim. We have the knowledge, resources, experience, and skills to recover the full and fair compensation you deserve for your suffering and loses. Just be sure to choose the right personal injury law firm that can provide comprehensive and compassionate counsel.

Choose the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C.

Call us today at 317-881-2700 to discuss your Indiana car accident claim with a licensed accident attorney you can trust. Our licensed accident lawyers gather all relevant information needed for the case, go head to head with the insurance companies, handle all communication and negotiations with the opposing parties and will go to trial if the defendant’s insurance company will not make a full and fair settlement offer, all to obtain fair compensation for our injured clients. We want everyone to have a chance at justice following a serious accident caused by another’s negligence. This is why we operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning we never collect lawyer fees unless we win compensation for you.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700
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Shocking Facts About Alcohol-Impaired Driving and Accidents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 29 people become fatal victims of alcohol-impaired driving in the United States, EVERYDAY. This statistic should startle you, as it is incredibly tragic and 100% preventable. More alarmingly, it adds up to an average of 1 death every 50 minutes.

Drunk driving is a terrible and life-threatening crisis in our country, and continues to take the lives of innocent men, women, and children, every single day. Perhaps learning the truth about alcohol-impaired driving will help spread the word to never drink and drive, and ultimately, save lives.

Continue reading to learn more facts surrounding drunk driving motor vehicle accidents and fatalities, and then share your knowledge with those around you to support the initiative to stop alcohol-impaired driving.

Car Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

Car Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

Shocking Drunk Driving Statistics for 2016

More than 10,000 people lost their lives to drunk driving. This total added up to 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.

Over 1 million drivers were arrested for intoxicated driving, including alcohol and illicit drugs. These 1 million drivers only made up 1% of the total amount of self-reported incidents of alcohol-impaired driving for 2016.

A total of 1,233 children, infants to 14 years old, lost their lives in traffic accidents, of which, 17% (214) were caused by alcohol-impaired driving.

A 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of high school students revealed that, within the past 30 days, 6% drove after consuming alcohol, while 17% rode with a driver that had been drinking alcohol.

Indiana Drunk Driving Statistics

Between the years of 2003 and 2012, a total of 2,210 people lost their lives to a drunk driving accident.

Nearly 1 in 3 fatal motor vehicle accidents in the United States involve drunk driving.

Drivers are deemed alcohol-impaired by law when they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more.

In 2012 poll taken among adults, 1.6% people admitted to driving after having too much to drink in the past 30 days.

Fortunately, the rate of drunk driving fatalities have gone down as a result of steadfast efforts. Indiana now allows sobriety checkpoints and more to reduce the temptation to drive under the influence.

Support the CDC

These facts are all derived from the CDC website, an incredible organization that works toward protecting and saving lives. They are also a great resource for all kinds of free information on health, safety, diseases, conditions, emergency preparedness, and much more. Please continue to be supportive of the CDC!

What We Can Do About Drunk Driving

Spreading the message of the deadly and life-long consequences that come from intoxicated driving is a great way to encourage the safe driving movement. Talk to your friends, family, and children about the importance of drug and alcohol-free driving, and foster an ongoing open discuss for questions and learning.

If You Were Injured By a Drink Driver, Get Legal Help

Personal Injury Law Firm 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Law Firm

Call The Law office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 if you or a loved one was recently injured or killed in a drunk driving accident in Indiana. Our seasoned car accident lawyers will be aggressive with your claim, and do everything in our power to recover the full and fair compensation you deserve after experiencing this tragedy. We offer free initial consultations and never collect attorney fees unless we recover for you.

Important Liability Laws for Hosting a Party With Alcohol

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

When it comes to your liability as a party host who serves alcohol to guests, the laws vary from state to state. Some states claim no liability, some claim liability, and some others do not even have laws that regard the subject at all. Indiana happens to be a state that does assign liability to social hosts.

If you let guests drink and drive after leaving your New Year’s Eve party, you could be liable for any damages or losses they caused to others on the road. If this is something you are concerned about, continue reading to learn how to be a responsible party host and how to protect yourself from being liable for drunk driving accidents.

Social Host Liability

The phrase, “social host liability” is a term that describes a person being held legally accountable for the actions of an intoxicated guest who became intoxicated by indulging in the alcoholic beverages served at their party. It is your duty as a party host to serve alcohol responsibly to guests. Not only is this for everyone’s safety, but it is also to avoid legal accountability. The most common scenarios are drunk driving and wrongful death accidents, but property damage, assault, and other incidents are known to occur as well.

If a guest at your party drinks too much alcohol, and then they leave and cause harm to another person or property, the victims of the accident can pursue a lawsuit against you since you provided the alcohol to the guest. This is actually very common. In fact, it is possible for party hosts to face criminal charges depending on the severity of the accident and subsequent losses experienced by the victims.

Laws Vary From State to State

As mentioned, some states have laws governing social host liability, while others do not. States that have laws regarding the subject either assign or absolve part hosts of liability, and some states do not even have laws pertaining to social host liability. For example, California and New York are “No Liability” states. This means party hosts are not responsible for the actions of their intoxicated guests, so long as they are adults, because these states do not put the blame on the furnishing of alcohol, but rather, the consumption.

States like New Jersey have specific social party host laws regarding intoxicated driving. They put liability on party hosts under certain circumstances, such as serving an already “visibly intoxicated” guest and more. Furthermore, states like North Carolina do not have any laws or ordinances that address social party host liability. However, victims of drunk driving accidents have been successful at pursing negligence lawsuits against hosts that over-serve guests and then allow them to drive.


In all 50 states, serving alcohol to a minor, whether knowingly or not, imposes all sorts of serious liability on a party host. Not only can a host be financially responsible for any damages, losses, or injuries caused by an intoxicated minor, they can also be criminally charged.

Dram Shop Laws

Even if a person hosts a party at a public location, most states have Dram Shop laws in order. These laws hold establishments that serve alcohol liable for the actions of their intoxicated patrons. However, the circumstances to which these liabilities apply are very specific and vary among states. If a patron is overserved and injures someone, the victim can pursue a lawsuit against the drunk driver and the establishment.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Law Firm

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 for personal injury claims in Indianapolis, Indiana. We offer free initial consultations and never collect lawyer fees unless they win your claim. Call our office today to determine your eligibility for personal injury compensation.

Which Mistakes Cause the Most Car Accidents?

Driving a car is a big responsibility. And once you turn the ignition, you are taking on a risk. This is because you cannot trust the other drivers around, so accidents can happen at any given moment in time. Most car accidents are caused by some form of distracted driving, and since you cannot control what others around you do, it is critical to stay alert and focused when operating a motor vehicle. This even includes motorcycles, mopeds, scooters, and bikes. For this reason, it is important to always pay attention and drive defensively on the road. Accidents can happen for a number of reasons, but the most common causes of car accidents all have to do with irresponsible driving. Continue reading to see what they are!

Drunk Driving Injury Lawyer 317-881-2700

Drunk Driving Injury Lawyer 317-881-2700

Distracted Driving

The “umbrella” cause for car accidents is general distracted driving. This includes any behaviors or stimuli that can cause a person to lose focus of the road and their surroundings. Behaviors like texting, talking on the phone, smoking, searching for items, digging in purses, changing the radio station, and even sight-seeing are all examples of distracted driving. Stimuli that commonly distracts drivers include passengers, ride-along pets, emergency vehicle lights, loud music, and children. Some of these behaviors and stimuli should be avoided at all costs, like texting and driving. Most of the others mentioned can always be put off until you come to a stop. You may not be able to control other drivers, but you have the power to control your own driving!

Drunk Driving

Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal for a reason. It is one of the most dangerous behaviors a driver can partake in, and one of the most common reasons for car accident fatalities in the United States. According to a recent MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) poll, an average of 28 people die EVERYDAY from drunk driving accidents. Not only can you get in a heap of legal trouble, you can potentially harm or kill another innocent person. And what if that person is a child? Drinking and driving is never worth it, for this reason and more. Call a cab or designate a sober driver. It is also important to never get into a car with a drunk driver. Your life is not worth the risk!

Speeding and Reckless Driving

Speeding can fall into the category of irresponsible driving. A vast number of car accidents involve speeding. According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), nearly 14,000 fatalities a year are caused by speeding. No matter how “good” of a driver you claim to be, driving at high speeds makes it impossible to be entirely alert and safely react to obstacles in the road. So next time you are in a hurry, remember that driving faster will never get you there in time. It will only risk your life and the lives of others on the road.

Aggressive or Angry Driving

Colloquially referred to as “road rage”, aggressive or angry driving is a common cause of traffic accidents in the United States. Drivers who experience intense anger towards traffic, road workers, or other drivers, and choose to release that anger with aggressive driving, can risk causing a serious accident involving other vehicles. It is recommended to avoid intense anger behind the wheel by listening to music or audiobooks. It can help a person to remain calm and reduce their anxiety until they reach their destination.

Fatigued Driving

Whether coming home late from work, or nearing the end of an all-day road trip, fatigued driving is a common occurrence among drivers, and a common cause for car accidents. The NHTSA reports that an average of 100,000 collisions are caused by sleepy driving, over 1,500 of which are fatal. It is critical to be fully-energized and alert when operating a motor vehicle. Feeling the slightest bit drowsy can be a dangerous condition to drive in. Not only can you hurt yourself, you can hurt innocent strangers around you.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a distracted driver, it is vital to contact an experienced Indianapolis car accident lawyer to protect your future and your rights. Hurry to file your car accident injury claim before the statutes of limitations runs out in your state!

Indianapolis Car Accident Injury Lawyers

Personal Injury Law Firm 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Law Firm

Call The Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 for seasoned car accident injury lawyers in Indianapolis, Indiana. Attorneys Daniel Craven, Ralph Hoover, and Keith Blazek are eager to help you recover the full and fair compensation you deserve after being injured in a car accident. We offer free initial consultations and never collect lawyer fees unless we prevail for you. Call 317-881-2700 to learn your rights after a car accident, today.

Accident Liability for Hosting an Employee Party With Alcohol

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

At any party with alcohol being served, excessive drinking is always a possibility. For this reason, hosts are often concerned about being held liable for a drunk person’s damages or injuries. If you are an employer that is planning to host a social gathering for your staff, it is important to learn some vital information about host-alcohol liability in the case of an intoxication-related accident. Continue reading to understand your potential liability in such situations, and how to prevent it.

Dram Shop Laws

Dram Shop laws pertain to commercial vendors like bars, restaurants, and package stores, and holds business owners responsible for injuries and damages caused by an intoxicated customer. They vary greatly from state to state, and retain separate sets of limitations regarding the amount of damages a victim can sue for. Unless you are a commercial vendor of alcohol, it unlikely for you as an employer, or anyone for that matter, to be held liable for another person’s alcohol overindulgence and subsequent damages. However, it is not impossible.

Intoxicated Individuals and Victims

In most states, a drunk person cannot sue a host for injuries and damages they endured or caused to themselves. But if an intoxicated individual causes harm or damages to another person, a third-party lawsuit can be filed by the victim, against both the intoxicated person and the host that served them the alcohol. This is especially common in cases when the defendant does not have sufficient insurance to cover their victims’ damages. But the limitations to the host’s liability differs from state to state.

Limited Liability State to State

In some states, the law does not impose any liability on a social host at all. Other states simply limit the amount of liability on a social host to accidents that occur on their premises. And some states actually extend the limit of liability to accidents and injuries that occur after they have left their premises, such as traffic accidents. But almost all states hold social hosts liable for intoxication-related accidents when 1) alcohol was served to minors, 2) Alcohol was served recklessly, or 3) a “reasonable” host should have recognized a guest’s level of intoxication and stopped serving alcoholic drinks.

Employer Liability

Many states also hold employers responsible to a certain degree when social gatherings are held for a business-related purpose. This extra duty of care is imposed on employers under these circumstances since many employees feel obligated to attend an office party more so than another social event. In order to prevent employer-liability for over-intoxicated guests, be sure to make your social gathering’s focus on entertainment, rather than drinking. There are several steps you can take to lessen the possibility of overindulgence and alcohol-related accidents.

Preventing Alcohol-Related Accidents

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

First and foremost, you should never serve minors alcohol, or allow them to consume it under your nose. Under perfect conditions, minors would not be allowed to attend an adult social gathering where alcohol is being served and consumed. Also, always discourage guests from over-drinking, stop them from drinking further when they’ve noticeably had too much, and strongly encourage designated drivers and sober transportation.Another great tip is to hold your workplace event at a local bar or restaurant. Under Dram Shop laws, this relieves your liability for alcohol-related accidents, and provides a wait staff that is professionally-trained to monitor everyone’s alcohol consumption and politely cut someone off when they have had too much.

Try a Cash Bar

If you must host an employee social gathering on company or personal premises, consider having a cash bar. Provide all the party supplies except the liquor, and have guests pay for their alcoholic beverages with their own money. Since you are not necessarily making alcohol entirely unlimited to your guests, you can be relieved of some liability. If you have questions about an alcohol-related injury case, contact a personal injury lawyer for professional guidance. They have the knowledge to provide accurate state-specific answers to your injury-liability questions and concerns.

Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C.

Personal Injury Law Firm Indiana

Personal Injury Law Firm 317-881-2700

Call the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 for answers to your personal injury questions. Seasoned accident attorneys Daniel Craven, Ralph Hoover, and Keith Blazek retain extensive trial and litigation experience. They are happy to answer your questions about a recent personal injury or accident, and even provides free initial consultations to discuss your case in person. Call 317-881-2700 for Indianapolis personal injury lawyers you can trust.