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Gwinnett County DUI Accident Attorney Explains Social Host Liability

Social Host Liability:  Some Statistics & Social Host Liability Law Explained

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, there are some encouraging statistics when states have laws that hold negligent and irresponsible hosts (commercial and private individuals) for serving alcohol to the wrong people:

  • States that have dram shop and social host liability laws have had their DUI accident statistics reduced by as much as 5 percent almost immediately after they were put into effect.
  • This type of legislation has made business and home owners more aware of the potential liability when they are serving alcohol to their guests.
  • This type of legislation has lowered the overall amount of alcohol consumption per occurrence for legal persons and has reduced underage alcohol consumption. This has translated into lower Gwinnett County DUI accident and elsewhere across the country.

When it comes to Georgia’s laws, dram shop and social host liability is spelled out in a single statute. Based on O.C.G.A. §51-1-40, a Dacula DUI accident personal injury claim may include this social host liability.

There are “tests” that one must prove in order to be successful in proving guilt under this statue. In Georgia, a plaintiff must prove that a homeowner had knowingly served an adult who is “visibly intoxicated” or “noticeably intoxicated” that later caused a Dacula DUI accident in order to collect damages from the homeowner in question. Another test a plaintiff must pass in order to have a successful claim is to show the homeowner in question knew the at-fault driver was going to drive their car within a reasonable amount of time.

If you believe your Gwinnett County DUI accident was caused by a driver who was served after being visibly drunk by a homeowner, you may have a personal injury claim. You Georgia DUI accident attorney Shane Smith will be able to evaluate your claim and see what legal rights you are entitled to. Call (770) 487-8999 for your free legal consultation.

Georgia’s social host liability law was enacted after the court case Sutters v. Hutchins which held that victims of Georgia DUI accident victims may commence a legal claim against a social host for providing alcohol to persons that are visibly under the influence of alcohol when the host had full knowledge the person in question was going to operate a motor vehicle soon.

Based on subsection (b) of O.C.G.A. §51-1-40, in order for a plaintiff to successfully recover, the at-fault driver, who was knowingly served after being visibly intoxicated at the homeowners residence, was the legal or proximate cause of the plaintiff’s Dacula DUI accident injuries. There must also be substantiated damages directly related to the Georgia DUI accident. Damages including medical injuries for physical injuries, future medical treatment, clinically diagnosed and treated depression and other potential damages.

The only way to see if you have a social liability personal injury claim for your Gwinnett County DUI accident is to speak with a lawyer at the Law Offices of Shane Smith. You will have your DUI accident’s circumstances evaluated and will see if your situation warrants a personal injury claim. Call (888) 927-6955 to speak with a Georgia DUI accident attorney so you can seek justice!


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia