Superbowl Party Hosts Can be Liable for Putting Drunk Driver on the Road
The Register Guard recently reported on local law enforcement efforts to enhance patrols to stop drunken drivers on Super Bowl Sunday. The article provided some sound advice for party hosts to ensure that their guests are not leaving the party in no shape to drive.
The article also mentioned the potential liability for a party host letting a guest get behind the wheel. Oregon law provides that a party host who provides alcohol to a "visibly intoxicated" person may be liable for any injuries caused by the drunken driver. A "social host" can be a person hosting a party at their house, or someone buying too many drinks for a fellow patron at a tavern.
Our office has handled too many cases involving a drunk driver that was over-served, caused a wreck, injuring or even killing another motorist. With more than one responsible party involved, there are many issues to address, including the shared liability between the drunk driver and the provider of alcohol, and whether the drunk driver was "visibly intoxicated", which is different than merely being "intoxicated."