Providing Alcohol to a Person Aged 18-20 Consequences In Texas

In Smith v. Merrit, 940 S.W.2d 602, 605 (Tex. 1997), the court found section 106.06 does not create a negligence per se cause of action when a social host provides alcohol to a person eighteen years of age or older because the legislature manifested its intent that Chapter 2 of the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Code should serve as the sole basis of civil liability for serving alcohol to persons aged eighteen to twenty. Smith, 940 S.W.2d at 607-08; TEX. ALCO. BEV. CODE ANN. 2.03 (Vernon 1995). Section 2.03 provides that Chapter 2 is "the exclusive cause of action for providing an alcoholic beverage to a person 18 years of age or older" and "is in lieu of common law or other statutory law warranties and duties of providers of alcoholic beverages." Id. To hold that providing alcohol to a person aged eighteen to twenty in violation of section 106.06 establishes a negligence per se cause of action against a social host would ignore the intent and policies of the legislature, the court concluded. Id.