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Social host liability and underage drunk drivers

Underage drinking is not just a teen problem.

The term, social host, refers to adults who knowingly or unknowingly host underage drinking parties on property that they own, lease, or otherwise control. Through social host liability laws, adults can be held responsible for these parties, regardless if they served the alcohol or turned a blind eye when alcohol was brought in by others.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey have social host liability laws. Social host ordinances give communities a practical tool for holding adults accountable by permitting law enforcement to cite the person who hosted the underage drinking party on their property.

Statistics of teen drunk driving suggest that a teenage boy with BAC levels of 0.05 percent is 18 times more vulnerable to crash his vehicle than a teenage boy who hasn’t consumed any alcohol. In girls, this vulnerability increases to 54 times over her non-drinking counterparts.

When adults purchase alcohol for the under-21 crowd or host teenage drinking parties in their homes or look the other way when teens talk about their drinking exploits – underage drinking becomes an adult problem.

Mothers Against Drunk Drivers’ statistics

According to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers’ statistics (MADD), access to alcohol for teenage parties is easier than you might think. In a 2005 study conducted by the American Medical Association, of teenagers between 13 and 18 showed:

  • Nearly half of the teenagers surveyed reported having obtained alcohol.
  • Two out of three teenagers said it was easy to get alcohol from their homes without their parents knowing.
  • One-third of teens reported it was easy to obtain alcohol from consenting parents.
  • For teens who obtained alcohol in the past six months, parents were the supplier an average of three times in a six-month period.

According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) drinking and driving statistics, more than half of the drunk driver accidents involving teenagers were reported on weekends. About half of these accidents occurred between 3 p.m. and midnight. Teens are less likely to drive after drinking, but when they do, they are more likely to end up crashing due to the fact they are inexperienced in driving and driving drunk.

Drunk Driving Fatality Lawsuits

If your son or daughter has been seriously injured or died because an adult recklessly allowed underage drinking on their property, don’t hesitate to contact a Pennsylvania personal injury law firm to help you determine what your legal options are and how to move forward on your journey to justice.

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