June 26, 2012
A Missouri court is examining if the host of a party where alcohol is served can be charged in connection to crimes committed by intoxicated guests. According to ABC News, a 46-year-old Kansas City, Missouri, woman has been charged with second-degree involuntary manslaughter after a drunk driver left a party at her home and was involved in a fatal car accident.
The crash happened on Halloween night in 2009. A 19-year-old man, who had been served numerous drinks at the party, collided on his way home with a car driven by a 16-year-old girl, killing her.
In Missouri, the host of a party cannot be held liable for the actions of their guests, but prosecutors have brought the charges against the woman alleging that she served the drinks herself to a known minor, and then let him get in the car and leave knowing that he was intoxicated. Prosecutors also pointed out a similar case in Pennsylvania where a court of appeals had upheld a woman’s conviction under the same circumstances.
Defense attorneys argued that the charge should be dismissed on the grounds that, “Furnishing alcoholic beverages is not the proximate cause of injuries by intoxicated persons.” A judge is expected to make a decision in the coming weeks.
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