Dram Shop Law – Social Host Liability and Liability for Retail Licensees

When hosting parties and serving alcohol, you always have to be careful. Michigan’s dram shop law identifies liabilities for social hosts and retail licensees with regard to serving alcohol. Tom Sinas, Grand Rapids personal injury attorney, shares everything you need to know before throwing your next big event.


Michigan’s Dram Shop Law

When talking about these types of laws, there are two categories: retail licensees and social hosts.

Retail licensees include bars and restaurants, or those who obtain a retail license to serve alcohol at a one-time event. This group is prohibited from serving alcohol to not only minors but also those who are visibly intoxicated. Should a retail licensee serve a visibly intoxicated person who then injures someone else, the injured party may have a potential legal claim against the licensee.

Social Host Liability

The second group is known as social hosts. Social hosts are those who throw a party at their home for friends and family, for example. Social host liability is a lot more limited than retail licensee liability. The general rule is that social hosts are not liable for injuries to third-parties when serving alcohol to adults. However, when serving to minors, there can be legal liability.

Fox 17 Know the Law – Dram Shop Law in Michigan from Sinas Dramis Law Firm

Injuries from Drunk Driving Accidents

In the unfortunate event of a drunk driving accident, law enforcement takes into account the whole picture. Who caused the accident? What is that individual’s liability? Are there other entities potentially responsible for the accident? The bottom line is to never serve alcohol to minors and understand the potential liabilities involved with serving adults and the visibly intoxicated.