Clarifying Social Host Liability: Legal Implications for Indiana Residents

With so many Hoosiers coming down from a long weekend of New Year’s celebrations, it is crucial to be aware of the responsibilities that come along with hosting social events. Today, we’re tackling the complex issue of social host liability and its legal implications, particularly for residents of Indiana. With the increase in alcohol consumption during New Year’s Eve parties, there are real and potential repercussions for homeowners and business owners who allow over-consumption on their premises. 

Today, we will delve into the penalties for social host violations in Indiana, plus provide information on what to do if a loved one was tragically injured or killed due to the over-serving of alcohol over the New Year’s Eve weekend. Stay tuned as we navigate the intricate waters of social host law, for knowledge is power when it comes to protecting ourselves and our loved ones.

Call 317-881-2700 to Speak With a Personal Injury Lawyer in Indianapolis
Call 317-881-2700 to Speak With a Personal Injury Lawyer in Indianapolis

The Increase of Alcohol Consumption on New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is known for being one of the biggest party nights of the year. With celebrations taking place all over Indiana, alcohol consumption tends to skyrocket during this time. Unfortunately, this also means an increase in social host violations and potential harm caused by over-consumption. When we gather with friends and family to celebrate any event, it’s important to always remember that being a responsible host means helping to ensure the safety of your guests.

Understanding Social Host Liability

Social host liability is a legal concept that holds hosts responsible for their actions and the actions of their guests when it comes to serving alcohol. Essentially, if an individual over-consumes alcohol and causes harm to themselves or others, the host could be held liable for their negligence in allowing excessive drinking on their property. This law applies not only to homeowners but also to anyone who serves alcohol at a social gathering, such as a party or event.

In Indiana, the law states that, “a person who knowingly or intentionally sells, furnishes, gives away or otherwise provides alcoholic beverages to a minor commits a Class C misdemeanor.” (IC 7.1-5-7-8). This means that if an underage individual is served alcohol at a party and causes harm to themselves or others, the host can face legal consequences.

Penalties for Social Host Violations in Indiana

The consequences for social host violations vary depending on the severity of the situation. Accordingly, they can render both civil and criminal penalties. In Indiana, serving alcohol to a minor is considered a Class C misdemeanor, which can result in a fine of up to $500 and/or up to 60 days in jail (IC 7.1-5-7-8). If the incident involves serious injury or death, the host could face Class A misdemeanor charges or even felony charges, both of which come with much harsher penalties. All of these legal consequences not only affect the host but also have an impact on the individual who has been harmed or their loved ones.

What to Do If Someone You Love is Injured or Killed

If someone you care about has been tragically injured or killed due to over-serving of alcohol at a New Year’s Eve party, it’s important to take immediate action. First and foremost, seek medical assistance for the individual and continue to follow up on all medical appointments and orders. Then, hire an experienced Indianapolis civil litigator who can help represent you in a social host liability claim. They will assist you from start to finish, from gathering evidence, like the location of the party and who served alcohol, to recovering a full and fair settlement for your damages.


As we enter a new year, let’s make sure that our coming celebrations are not only fun but also safe for everyone involved. As hosts, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our guests do not over-consume alcohol and put themselves or others in harm’s way. Remember, social host liability is a serious issue with legal implications that should not be taken lightly. Stay informed, stay responsible, and have a happy and safe New Year!

Are you ready to file a lawsuit against a negligent party host who over-served your loved one last year? Contact Craven, Hoover & Blazek, P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana. We can hold meetings in our office, or, if you cannot travel, we can speak over the phone or at your place of medical in-patient care. Call now before time runs out on your claim!

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What is the Personal Injury Case Court Process?

Were you just injured in an accident that was not your own fault? Do you believe someone else should be held accountable for your damages and losses, such as medical expenses, hospital bills, lost wages, and pain-and-suffering? If so, your first step is to educate yourself and to hire a personal injury attorney.

Continue below for a brief explanation of the Indiana personal injury process, plus where to get started on your accident claim by learning more about your case.

Call Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Indiana at 317-881-2700 Today.
Call Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Indiana at 317-881-2700 Today.

What to Expect From the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process in Indiana

When someone is injured due to the negligence of another person, they may file a claim with the insurance carrier for the at-fault party and a personal injury lawsuit, if necessary. In Indiana, the court process for these types of cases can be complex. Here is an overview of what you can expect if you choose to claim suit for a wrongful accident and injuries in the Hoosier state:

The first step in filing a personal injury lawsuit is to file a complaint with the court. The complaint must state the facts of your case and what damages you are seeking. Once the complaint is filed, the defendant will have approximately 23 days to respond.

If the defendant does not respond, the court can enter a default judgment in favor of the plaintiff. If the defendant does respond, the next step is to engage in discovery. This is the process where both sides exchange information and documents relevant to the case.

After discovery is complete, the next step is to file motions with the court. These motions can be used to ask the court to make a ruling on certain issues in the case. For example, a motion for summary judgment can be used to ask the court to rule in favor of the plaintiff or the defendant without having a trial.

Once all of the motions have been ruled on, the next step is to go to trial. This is where both sides will present their evidence and arguments to a judge or jury. The judge or jury will then make a decision on who should win the case.

Schedule a No-Fee Case Evaluation to Learn Your Rights

If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit in Indiana, it is important to understand the court process. This overview should give you a general idea of what to expect. However, it is always best to consult with and hire an experienced injury attorney in Indianapolis to get specific advice for your case.

Would you like to know if your recent accident and injuries place you in a strong position to sue for compensation? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free personal injury case evaluation. You can speak directly with a trusted and experienced Indianapolis personal injury attorney over the phone, via online video, or in person at our law firm. We represent clients throughout the state of Indiana and resident Hoosiers injured in other states.

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