Social host liability

"I’m planning a big house party for my 40th birthday. A few of my friends are pretty heavy drinkers. I’ve heard that in hosting a party, I can be sued if someone leaves drunk and gets in a car crash on the way home. Is that true?"

– Nadia, Langford, BC

Party at your place! And alcohol’s on tap. Let’s say one of your guests drinks too much and drives home. On the way, they get into an accident and injure someone else. As the party host, could you be held liable for the injured person’s damages? Learn what the law says about social host liability.

What you should know

Reduce your risk as a social host

  • This information applies to British Columbia, Canada
  • Reviewed for legal accuracy in January 2022
  • Time to read: 6 minutes

Reviewed for legal accuracy by

Jacqueline A. Small, Holness and Small Law Group and Daniel Coles, Owen Bird Law Corporation

Jacqueline A. Small
Daniel Coles

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