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Can Social Hosts Be Held for Drunk Driving Accidents in South Carolina?


Drunk driving is still a huge problem throughout the United States. Hundreds of people are injured each year in drunk driving related crashes. Likewise, each state handles responsibility for alcohol-related accidents a little differently. In South Carolina, for example, a person injured by a drunk driver can file a personal injury claim against that driver for compensation of medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. The injured person can even file a suit against a bar, tavern, or liquor store that sold or provided alcohol to the driver before the crash.

The laws allowing these types of claims are called “dram shop” laws. While the state doesn’t have specific dram shop statutes, courts in the state have authorized people to file such claims against bars and liquor stores owners who should have known selling the alcohol could lead to disaster.

Likewise, South Carolina also allows injured people to hold social hosts liable for accidents if the host provided alcohol to people who later drove irresponsibly. However, this law only applies if the guest who caused the accident was a minor under age 21. If the offender was an adult, the social host doesn’t have an obligation to cut the person off or ensure he or she doesn’t get into the car after leaving the event.

South Carolina law also imposes criminal penalties on social hosts who help minors under the age of 21 drink, but only in specific circumstances. For example, violating the state’s underage drinking law in a hotel room or similar lodging would be considered illegal.

If a drunk driver harmed you or a loved one, let us see how we can help. Our skilled Charleston car accident attorneys are dedicated to helping the victims of negligence seek compensation for their injuries. Let us see what we can do for you.

Contact us at (843) 968-0886 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.

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