The Law and Hosting a Holiday Party in Alabama

Dec 20, 2019 | Allen A. Ritchie

If you are thinking of spiking that eggnog, here is what you need to know.

Don’t serve anyone under 21.

Alabama is firm that you cannot legally serve alcohol to anyone under 21 years old. That means even if his or her parents say it is ok, even if it is for religious reasons and even if he or she is in the military — the answer is still no. Failure to comply with this law can cost you plenty … and could put you in jail.

Don’t serve anyone who is drunk.

Under our state’s dram shop laws (a dram is an old term for a measure of liquor), both businesses and individuals working at businesses can be held liable if they serve obviously intoxicated people.

Here is basically how the law works. If you give someone too much liquor, you have caused the person to be drunk. Therefore, you are responsible for any damage he or she causes.

Giving alcohol for free is no excuse.

In a social setting, say at your home, you can still be held responsible if you serve a visibly drunk person. There is a slight twist in the law here. The drunk person cannot sue you, but the person he or she injures can.

Do you really want to cause harm to your guests or anyone else?

Being a good host is not supplying as much liquor as guests can consume. Being a good host is making sure your guests have a good time and are safe. It is your responsibility to take the keys, call an Uber and/or cut them off.

Have a safe holiday from all of us at the law firm of Eiland and Ritchie.

If you are hurt in a traffic accident or suffer a personal injury, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet.

Also join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30 right after the news. We return to our live 30-minute show starting January 5, 2020.

Allen Ritchie

Alabama personal injury lawyer