Rhode Island Liquor Liability Lawyer Tips: Social Host Laws

March 13th, 2019

Want to know what upsets a jury? In my experience as a Rhode Island personal injury lawyer, there is nothing a jury dislikes more than serious injury or death resulting from alcohol use in a drunk driver or other at fault person.  Drunk driving has serious consequences, including wrongful death in some cases.  At The Bottaro Law Firm, our lawyers are dedicated to standing up for the rights of the injured throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts after a car accident.Rhode Island DUI Car Accident Lawyers

For your case, this can mean not only looking at the drunk, but also investigating who served the drunk the alcohol.  In the law, this is referred to as “liquor liability laws,” “dram shop claims,” or “social host liquor liability.”

Today, I will focus on one aspect of our investigation: looking for social host liquor liability in Rhode Island.  This may arise in a non-commercial alcohol drinking situation.  Examples may include “home parties” such as graduation parties and the like.

Our Rhode Island Supreme Court has published several decisions regarding the limits of social host liability, meaning under what circumstances might a homeowner be held liable relating to the acts of an intoxicated person who causes the wrongful death or other personal injury to another?

The Court has referred to a landmark New Jersey decision from 1984 that held:

… a social host who serves alcoholic beverages to an adult guest, knowing both that the guest is visibly intoxicated and will thereafter be operating a motor vehicle, is liable for injuries inflicted upon a third party as the result of the negligent operation of a motor vehicle by the adult guest who is intoxicated.

Rhode Island law places certain limitations on such cases, so we will want to speak to you as soon as possible to investigate the case.  When a car accident or other act causes a fatal wrongful death or serious personal injury, my law firm looks to hold those responsible.  At Bottaro Law, our laser focus on only representing the injured means that we have the resources and knowledge to get answers in any drunk driving personal injury case.

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