You had a party. Everyone was over the age of 21 and alcoholic beverages were served. As adults, you expected your guests to be responsible, to designate drivers, and to avoid drunk driving. However, one of your guests got behind the wheel after consuming alcohol at your home, caused an accident, and was arrested for drunk driving. Are you to blame?
Virginia Social Host Liability
While you may feel terribly about the accident, you are likely not to blame for the accident or the resulting injuries or fatalities. While some states have social host liability laws that may make the party host legally responsible if the drunk driver was a minor or an employee, Virginia law does not hold hosts liable if their guests drive drunk.
The potential penalties for the drunk-driving accident may be incurred by the person who drove while intoxicated, not you. According to Virginia law, the cause of the accident was the consumption of the alcohol, not the serving of the alcohol, and thus it is the driver who is responsible for causing the accident, in the eyes of the law.
The social host liability laws in Virginia are consistent regardless of the age of the alleged drunk driver. However, it is important to note that even though you may have no liability with regard to the drunk-driving crash, you may be charged with a crime for serving alcohol to a minor if the driver was underage.
A Fairfax DUI Defense Attorney May Help Your Guest
You may not need a Fairfax drunk driving defense lawyer after having a party at your home, you may be concerned about the potential legal problems facing your guest. We encourage you to talk to your guest about his or her future and to let your guest know that the compassionate and competent lawyers of the Taylor Law Company are available for a free consultation by calling 703.385.5529.