California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI)

422. Sale of Alcoholic Beverages to Obviously Intoxicated Minors (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 25602.1)

[Name of plaintiff] claims [name of defendant] is responsible for [his/ her] harm because [name of defendant] sold or gave alcoholic beverages to [name of alleged minor], a minor who was already obviously intoxicated.

To establish this claim, [name of plaintiff] must prove all of the following:

1. That [name of defendant] was [licensed/authorized/required to be licensed or authorized] to sell alcoholic beverages;

2. That [name of defendant] sold or gave alcoholic beverages to [name of alleged minor];

3. That [name of alleged minor] was less than 21 years old at the time;

4. That when [name of defendant] provided the alcoholic beverages, [name of alleged minor] displayed symptoms that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that [he/she] was obviously intoxicated;

5. That [name of alleged minor] harmed [name of plaintiff]; and

6. That [name of defendant]’s selling or giving alcoholic beverages to [name of alleged minor] was a substantial factor in causing [name of plaintiff]’s harm.

In deciding whether [name of alleged minor] was obviously intoxicated, you may consider whether [he/she] displayed one or more of the following symptoms to [name of defendant] before the alcoholic beverages were provided: impaired judgment; alcoholic breath; incoherent or slurred speech; poor muscular coordination; staggering or unsteady walk or loss of balance; loud, boisterous, or argumentative conduct; flushed face; or other symptoms of intoxication. The mere fact that [name of alleged minor] had been drinking is not enough.

New September 2003; Revised December 2009

Directions for Use

If the plaintiff is the minor who is suing for his or her own injuries (see Chalup v. Aspen Mine Co. (1985) 175 Cal.App.3d 973, 974 [221 Cal.Rptr. 97]), modify the instruction by substituting the appropriate pronoun for “[name of alleged minor]” throughout.

For purposes of this instruction, a “minor” is someone under the age of 21. (Rogers v. Alvas (1984) 160 Cal.App.3d 997, 1004 [207 Cal.Rptr. 60].)

Sources and Authority

  • Business and Professions Code section 25602.1 provides:

    “Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 25602, a cause of action may be brought by or on behalf of any person who has suffered injury or death against any person licensed, or required to be licensed, pursuant to Section 23300, or any person authorized by the federal government to sell alcoholic beverages on a military base or other federal enclave, who sells, furnishes, gives or causes to be sold, furnished or given away any alcoholic beverage, and any other person who sells, or causes to be sold, any alcoholic beverage, to any obviously intoxicated minor where the furnishing, sale or giving of that beverage to the minor is the proximate cause of the personal injury or death sustained by that person.”

  • “ ‘The use of intoxicating liquor by the average person in such quantity as to produce intoxication causes many commonly known outward manifestations which are “plain” and “easily seen or discovered.” If such outward manifestations exist and the seller still serves the customer so affected, he has violated the law, whether this was because he failed to observe what was plain and easily seen or discovered, or because, having observed, he ignored that which was apparent.’ ” (Schaffıeld v. Abboud (1993) 15 Cal.App.4th 1133, 1140 [19 Cal.Rptr.2d 205].)
  • “[T]he standard for determining ‘obvious intoxication’ is measured by that of a reasonable person.” (Schaffıeld, supra, 15 Cal.App.4th at p. 1140.)
  • “We shall make no effort to state definitively the meaning of the word
  • ‘furnishes’ … As used in a similar context the word ‘furnish’ has been said to mean: ‘ “To supply; to offer for use, to give, to hand.” ’ It has also been said the word ‘furnish’ is synonymous with the words ‘supply’ or ‘provide.’ In relation to a physical object or substance, the word ‘furnish’ connotes possession or control over the thing furnished by the one who furnishes it. The word ‘furnish’ implies some type of affirmative action on the part of the furnisher; failure to protest or attempt to stop another from imbibing an alcoholic beverage does not constitute ‘furnishing.’ ” (Bennett v. Letterly (1977) 74 Cal.App.3d 901, 904—905 [141 Cal.Rptr. 682], internal citations omitted.)

  • The description of symptoms is derived from an instruction approved in Jones v. Toyota Motor Co. (1988) 198 Cal.App.3d 364, 370 [243 Cal.Rptr. 611].
  • “[S]ection 25602.1’s phrase ‘causes to be sold’ requires an affirmative act directly related to the sale of alcohol which necessarily brings about the resultant action to which the statute is directed, i.e., the furnishing of alcohol to an obviously intoxicated minor.” (Hernandez v. Modesto Portuguese Pentecost Assn. (1995) 40 Cal.App.4th 1274, 1276 [48 Cal.Rptr.2d 229].)
  • “It is our conclusion that the terms of section 25602.1 should be construed strictly, so as to require that the negligence resulting in liability of the alcohol purveyor be that of the very person who purchased the beverage.” (Salem v. Superior Court (1989) 211 Cal.App.3d 595, 600 [259 Cal.Rptr. 447].)
  • “[O]bviously intoxicated minors who are served alcohol by a licensed purveyor of liquor, may bring a cause of action for negligence against the purveyor for [their own] subsequent injuries.” (Chalup, supra, 175 Cal.App.3d at p. 979.)

Secondary Sources

6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2005) Torts, § 1072

California Tort Guide (Cont.Ed.Bar 3d ed.) § 4.63

Haning et al., California Practice Guide: Personal Injury, Ch. 2(II)-L, Liability For Providing Alcoholic Beverages, ¶ 2:2101 (The Rutter Group)

1 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 1, Negligence: Duty and Breach, § 1.21 (Matthew Bender)

3 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 19, Alcoholic Beverages: Civil Liability, §§ 19.12, 19.52, 19.75 (Matthew Bender)

1 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 15A, Alcoholic Beverages: Civil Liability for Furnishing, § 15A.21 et seq. (Matthew Bender)