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Michigan’s Social Host Liability Law and Dealing with the Parties Part One


We are now at a season of partying. With Thanksgiving, Halloween, and the Christmas season coming we are expecting a lot of people to invite us to their homes and have a drink or two. This is also the first Christmas after the pandemic that people are starting to be more confident of going out and enjoying the company of others. With that, you must always follow the requirements to protect you and your guests from any problems in the future.

You may be looking forward to hosting a social event and here at Haque Legal, we want to make sure that you know what you are doing at the time of the social event to protect you and your loved ones.

With that, the following article will talk about some of the things that you need to know about the Michigan Social Host Liability law and how you can protect yourself from liability against any kind of problem. 

What are your responsibilities as a social host?

As a social host of an event or a gathering, your responsibility is not just making sure that your guests would have fun at the time of the party but that your guests would always be able to get the right kind of protection at the time of the party. You also need to be able to properly protect yourself from any liability that may arise from too much partying.

When things are already too loud and your neighbors are calling the cops you might probably not want to further have to deal with problems that may arise when your guests are already on their way home. 

What are the things that you should look out for as a social host? 

As a social host, you need to look out for the fact that it is illegal to sell alcohol to minors below the age of 21. Keep in mind that it is not only frowned upon but is fully illegal and you may face the following charges if you feel to limit the drinking of minors at your party:

  • Aiding and Abetting Alcohol Consumption of a Minor;
  • Aiding and Abetting Alcohol Possession by a Minor;
  • Delinquency of the Minor; and
  • Child Endangerment.

While the social host is not expected to require the guest to show proof of their age it is also not expected of them not to ask or not know the age of their guests. If you created or plan a social event you already probably know the important details about their guests.

If you have a guest who brought a minor or a person who looks like a minor, you will certainly inquire about it; maybe not as a social host to prevent liability but because that is just how things are. 

What is the law that punishes those who sell or serve alcohol to minors?

In most of our articles about the dram shop law, we have already discussed MCL 436.170 or the social host liability law in Michigan. Here, it states that anyone who furnishes or sells alcohol to a minor is guilty of a misdemeanor. 

The controlling part here is that the selling or the serving itself is already punishable as a misdemeanor. If the consumption of the alcoholic beverage by the minor is the cause of any other problem, injury, or death of another person or of that minor the host would be guilty of a felony.

The felony is not even the last thing that the host should worry about. The social who’s would also face a civil lawsuit that may be brought about by any third party that has been injured by the negligence and by the recklessness of the persons involved. This is where the complete application of the dram shop law applies.

In application, if you serve alcohol to a minor you are already liable for the misdemeanor. After the misdemeanor, you may also be held liable for a felony if the intoxicated minor caused injury or death to another person. You will also be facing a third-party civil lawsuit coming from the person who has been injured by the negligence or the recklessness of the minor. To top it all off you may also be charged for damages sought by the parents of the minor.

Charges Are The Least Of Your Problems

The charges that you will be facing are the least of your problems. You can always get the best experience when dealing with the lawsuit when you have the right team with you, and that is where Haque Legal comes in. 

The problem that you may have to face would be the trauma and the mental torture that is brought about by the simple act of serving an alcoholic beverage to a minor. Always keep this in mind when you are hosting a social event, especially during this time of a pandemic when the economy is not as great as we want it to be.

This is the first part of the series. The next part will discuss the elements of the suit as well as what you can do to prevent any of the problems with social host liability from bearing fruit.

Contact Your Lawyer Today

If you have a problem relating to dram shop liability in Michigan that you need assistance with, you should contact us today. A lawyer can help you get started with your defense. A criminal defense lawyer in Southfield at Haque Legal will see to it that your needs are met from beginning to the end of the proceedings. You are always in good hands with Haque Legal and what it has to offer.


The article that you have read is based on general applications of the law. It is not legal advice and it is not to be construed as any legal consultation with the firm. No client-attorney relationship is created when you read the articles we have provided.

Let us help you out.

If you are having trouble with parties relating to dram shop liability, call us immediately. If you have any problem with the law or are seeking justice and truth, our numbers are standing by to take your call.

The post Michigan’s Social Host Liability Law and Dealing with the Parties Part One appeared first on Haque Legal.

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