Can a drunk driving victim sue a party host for injuries in North Carolina? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

North Carolina courts have recognized liability for party hosts who knowingly served alcohol to underage drivers. Since no law directly addresses this, the question is answered on a case-by-case basis.

To succeed with a personal injury or wrongful death claim against a party host, the plaintiff must show all the following:

  • The drunk driver was younger than 21 and consumed alcohol at the defendant’s party.
  • The party host provided the alcohol consumed by the underage driver.
  • The driver caused the crash in which the plaintiff suffered injuries or died.
  • The injuries or death resulted directly from the crash.
  • The party host knew of should have known that the driver was under the legal age to consume alcohol.
  • The party host knew or should have know the driver would be driving after consuming alcohol.