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Where does the liability lie if someone drives drunk and hurts or kills someone after leaving their class reunion where an open bar was available?
December 21, 2004 3:44PM
First of all it lies with the driver, no one forced him to get drunk and drive. 2nd it looks like your asking about "Host Liquor Liability" Your reunion committee can buy Insurance for that. Many halls require it. I'm not an attorney, but it looks like CA did away with it. West's Ann.Cal.Bus. & Prof.Code § 25602 § 25602. Sales to drunkard or intoxicated person; offense; civil liability (a) Every person who sells, furnishes, gives, or causes to be sold, furnished, or given away, any alcoholic beverage to any habitual or common drunkard or to any obviously intoxicated person is guilty of a misdemeanor. (b) No person who sells, furnishes, gives, or causes to be sold, furnished, or given away, any alcoholic beverage pursuant to subdivision (a) of this section shall be civilly liable to any injured person or the estate of such person for injuries inflicted on that person as a result of intoxication by the consumer of such alcoholic beverage. (c) The Legislature hereby declares that this section shall be interpreted so that the holdings in cases such as Vesely v. Sager (5 Cal.3d 153), Bernhard v. Harrah's Club (16 Cal.3d 313) and Coulter v. Superior Court (_____ Cal.3d _____) [FN1] be abrogated in favor of prior judicial interpretation finding the consumption of alcoholic beverages rather than the serving of alcoholic beverages as the proximate cause of injuries inflicted upon another by an intoxicated person. For more information see www.steveshorr.com/law.htm The responsibility lies on the person for not knowing when they have had enough alcohol. We should be adults. It is not up to the bar tender, the club, the hall, etc., or one's friends to babysit that person. It's time one grows up and acts responsible for his/her actions. The problem is, no one ever thinks it will happen to them (always happens to someone else.) Once people get it into their heads that a car really is a weapon, and we need all our skills to control our driving the fewer accidents there will be. There are taxis, a designated driver, parents, aunts, uncles, buses, etc., one to get home safely and also to keep others safe on the road. It's a terrible thing to live with when a person knows they have acted irresponsibly and taken someone else's life. That person has parents, family, friends and perhaps a wife and kids. Is it worth it to drive drunk? Absolutely not!