Texas Laws on Serving Alcohol at a Party

by Sameca Pandova
Texas law holds party hosts liable for serving alcohol to minors.

Texas law holds party hosts liable for serving alcohol to minors.

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Texas social host liability is the general term for Texas law regarding the serving of alcohol. The general rule is that a party host is not responsible for the actions of guests who consume alcohol. However, Texas passed legislation in 2005 that extends liability to party hosts who provide alcohol to underage minors.

Party Hosts Generally

The general rule is that a party host is not liable for the actions of adults who drink alcohol at a party. This is distinct from the way Texas law treats bars and restaurants, holding them liable alongside a drunk driver for damages.

Texas Social Host Law

The Texas social host law is in Section 2.02 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code. It holds party hosts liable in two circumstances: if the hosts knowingly serve alcohol to minors on their property, or if the hosts supply car keys to an intoxicated adult on the host's property. The law requires knowledge by the host of the minor's age. Without actual knowledge of the minor's age, a party host will not be liable so long as the host's assumption is reasonable.


Violation of the Texas social host law is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to $4,000 in fines and up to one year incarceration under Section 12.21 of the Texas Penal Code.

Preventive Measures

Regardless of potential liability, the best advice for any party host is to discourage excessive consumption of alcohol by guests, remove alcohol when the party is winding down and call cabs for any intoxicated guests.

About the Author

Based near Chicago, Sameca Pandova has been writing since 1995 and now contributes to various websites. He is an attorney with experience in health care, family and criminal prosecution issues. Pandova holds a Master of Laws in health law from Loyola University Chicago, a Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Arts in history and political science from Case Western.

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