By now, many college students are celebrating the end of their school years, and high school students can see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is a time of unbridled joy for most graduates, and rightly so. They’ve worked hard to earn degrees and can now look forward to putting their educational investment to good use. Sadly, this time of hope and opportunity can turn tragic with just one bad decision.
The recent fatal car crash involving a minor who was served alcohol at a house party has drawn attention to the raucous and dangerous “keggers” that frequently mark spring celebrations, including graduation parties. Of course, not all friendly get-togethers are so reckless – in fact, the majority of so-called parties turn out to be low-key affairs. If you plan on hosting such a party, take care to ensure that anyone drinking alcohol is of legal age and not already had too many. Whether you actively and knowingly provide alcohol to a minor or visibly intoxicated person, or do so without “diligent inquiry” into the person’s age, or simply allow unrestricted access to alcohol, you can be held criminally and legally responsible for the outcome.
With a little common sense, and some vigilant supervision, this graduation season can have a happy ending for everyone.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.