Posted by Stephanie Sherman | Jul 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

In general, Texas courts have held that hosts of private gatherings hold no responsibility for the acts of intoxicated guests during or after their attendance. If an adult guest leaves a party intoxicated, any damages caused by the intoxicated adult will not, under most circumstances, be the responsibility of the party host.  But, there is an important exception regarding the damages caused by minors served by adults. Under Section 2.02 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, adults over 21 are responsible for the actions and damages caused by intoxicated minors if:  the host serves or provides alcohol to minors on their property, whether the property is owned or leased.   If you find yourself a host of a Texas social gathering, barbecue, fiesta, tailgate, or celebration and alcohol is being served, you can never be too careful monitoring who is consuming alcohol and how much alcohol guests have consumed.  Though Texas has chosen to allow hosts of private parties or gatherings to be removed from liability if they take precautionary steps to assure they abide by the law, there are still risks. For example, if a host knows the adult is intoxicated and encourages the intoxicated adult to drive. 

An adult host is always liable for the acts of intoxicated minors.  Many parents allow their teens to have parties where alcohol is served or where the parents know alcohol is being consumed.  While the parent may try to mitigate risk by not buying the alcohol, there is still liability if the parent knows the minors are consuming alcohol and allows it on their property.

If your teen tries to convince you that everyone is doing it, just say no.  You may be unpopular but it is better than facing a criminal or civil action filed against you.  I would not hesitate to take a case a person or family harmed by the negligence of an adult serving or providing alcohol to minors.  

About the Author

Stephanie Sherman

On June 1, 2022, I joined the nationwide award-winning law firm, Baum Hedlund.  I am grateful to join this elite group of trailblazers that is so deeply committed to taking on tough cases and fighting for the underdog. You can still reach me here, via my bio page or at 800-827-0087. Stephani...


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