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Can I Sue The People Who Gave Alcohol To The Teenager Who Hit My Car?

Some visitors to New Orleans may mistakenly think that we have relaxed regulations regarding underage drinking.  Like the rest of Louisiana, the drinking age here is twenty-one, and it is illegal to serve alcohol to minors.  Moreover, if an intoxicated minor causes an injury to someone, the party who provided the alcohol may be liable.

This is different than the rules that apply when an intoxicated adult causes a personal injury.  For adults, Louisiana Revised Statute 9:2800.1 limits the liability of those who sold, served or furnished the alcohol. It also provides similar immunity to a social host for injuries occurring off-premises as a result of someone’s intoxication.

These same rules, however, do not necessarily apply to selling or serving alcohol to minors.  In fact, portions of this statute are expressly limited to individuals of legal age, and the Louisiana Supreme Court has specifically held that it does not protect a party from potential liability arising from the sale or furnishing of alcohol to a minor.

As a result, a party that provides alcohol to a minor may be sued if that minor causes an injury.  The party that provided the alcohol, however, is not automatically liable in these situations.  Instead, whether the provider is responsible must be determined on a case by case basis.

If you have been injured by an intoxicated person and have any questions regarding your rights, please feel free to call us at 504-581-6411 or 855-GERTLER.