An Indiana teen is under arrest after he struck a telephone pole and then fled the scene. The impact between his vehicle and pole knocked the pole down, leaving a wire hanging over the road.
A motorcyclist came upon the scene shortly thereafter and struck the wire, causing a loss of control. The motorcyclist suffered multiple fractures, but his passenger was killed due to blunt force trauma.
One of the crucial questions that gets asked when someone is killed as a result of the actions of a teen who has been drinking is, “Where did he get the booze?” Every state has a drinking age of 21 years, so teens should not have alcohol made available to them.
In many states, if the liquor was obtained from a parivate home, there is no recourse against the homeowner. The homeowner is considered a social host, and most states do not allow social hosts to be held liable for the later negligent acts of their guests, even teens who should not have been drinking in the first place.
Illinois has modified its social host liability rules recently by amending the Dram Shop Act to permit liability to be imposed against homeowners who provide alcohol to teens. However, people injured by the actions of drunken teenagers should be aware that there are damage caps that are in place and that the Dram Shop Act provides for a short, one-year statute of limitations.