There is an area of the law called “social guest ” liability or the so-called Dram Shop Act.

In short, if you host a party at your residence and you serve and/or provide alcohol to your guests, you have a duty to make sure that your guests, when they depart, do not operate a motor vehicle when they may be impaired. If you do, you may be liable in full or part for any injuries later caused by any guest.

A legally safer method by which to entertain at home is to notify guests in advance that the invitation is BYOB. Courts give greater protection to homeowners who follow this rule.Even then, however, it is always prudent to keep your eyes open on the condition of your guests.

As an aside,employers who host events are held to a higher standard than private homeowners. Because employers can theoretically better control their employees, they may very well be held liable for damages even when they did not furnish any alcohol.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call me at 508-243-4877. Doug Stoddart.