House Parties, Hosting, & You:
Prominent Party Problems!

Learning Together:
What Are Social Host Liability Laws?


Did you know you can get in trouble for what people do after attending a party you’ve thrown? A California court found the young host of a party liable for the death caused by one of his party’s attendees who had been drinking.

Andrew Ennabe was a 19-year-old college student who was killed by a drunk driver in 2007.  The drunk driver was Thomas Garcia.  On the night in question, Mr. Garcia became intoxicated while drinking at a house party in Diamond Bar CA in 2007. Now he is currently serving 14 years for manslaughter.

Andrew Ennabe’s family sued the party host, however the original California court in which the case was heard dismissed the case on the grounds that Ennabe’s family hadn’t proven the party host’s responsibility in the matter.  After the case was appealed, California’ s Supreme Court found that the case should be heard by the lower court under California’s social host liability laws.

While California may have a reputation for ‘progressive’ laws and the party host may not face criminal consequences in this particular case, the variety of cases which make their way through civil courts is plentiful.  While you should always consider your actions from ethical and moral standpoints, the legal consequences of the choices you make should also be a consistent factor in your decision making process.

Whether you are a teen heading off to college, a recent graduate with a close call, or a parent worried for your student now that they’re living away from their childhood homes, we encourage you to share your experiences and thoughts on this matter in our comments section.


1) What social-host liability exists in Nevada?  Is there criminal, civil, or both?

2) What is a situation you have been in where someone (maybe even you) could have ended up in trouble because of a ‘social host liability’ legal consequence? 

3) Other than holding a house party where underage people drink (or do drugs), now that you are almost 18 or having reached the age of 18, what is a situation that you could easily find yourself in where you or a friend could end up in trouble for ‘social host liability’ reasons (Imagine if you ‘go off to college’ – what could happen there)?

4) In context to your response to Question 3 above, what do you plan to do to limit your criminal and civil liability under ‘social host’ conditions once you move out and start living on your own?  

Be sure to provide full explanations for each of your answers. For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here::


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