As a holiday season or special occasion approaches, many homeowners as well as businesses plan to have parties. Most of these parties include the drinking of alcohol, which in turn gives rise to legal responsibilities to the host. This area of law is referred to as social host liability. Party hosts are typically held responsible for any harm caused by an employee in the event that they are visibly intoxicated or if an accident occurs with attendees after they leave the party premises.
When this happens, the party responsible for not guaranteeing the safety of party attendees is charged under liability laws. Luckily, there are certain steps you can take to avoid being the defendant in a social host liability claim. If you are ever uncertain about the guidelines, contact a personal injury lawyer to learn more information.
1. Choose the party location wisely
When you want to host a party, it is of paramount importance to choose an appropriate party location. The location should be in a place or close to a place where there is easy access to public transportation. This will come in handy when your guests are leaving and may not be fit to drive. If you are an employer, it is advised that you choose an establishment licensed to sell alcohol and therefore covered by insurance policies. If you are having a party in your home, confirm that public transportation can be accessed from the house or arrange for designated drivers to transport all intoxicated attendees.
2. Staff the bar
If you host your party in a place that is not licensed to sell alcoholic beverages, make sure the bar is tended to by someone who is trained and experienced. You should never leave an open bar free to access by all guests. Having someone who is tasked with serving drinks guarantees that no one is overserved and all shots poured are precise.
If you are an employer who will be buying drinks for the employees, it is better to limit consumption using drink tickets as opposed to allowing unlimited consumption. It is also advised that you close the bar well before the end of the party in order to prevent excessive consumption of alcohol by guests.
3. Serve food throughout the evening
Serving food throughout the evening sounds obvious but it is not a standard practice by all establishments and homeowners. Serving food at a party reduces the effects of alcohol and when your guests eat as they drink, their overall alcohol consumption will be reduced. Drinking on an empty stomach allows alcohol to process faster and those that consume it will feel the effects faster and with greater intensity. With the presence of food in the system, alcohol enters the system slower and immediately lessens the effects of alcohol.
4. Have transportation options
You cannot force a guest to get a safe ride home but you can have options available for them. Doing this goes a long way to prevent any harm from happening to your guest after they leave the party. For instance, if you have a friend who drinks excessively at times, you should think ahead of how you can get them home safely. You should not wait for the end of the night to figure this out as you may end up being without many options.
If you are an employer, you can make arrangements for the transportation of your employees to their homes. If available you can use the company van or bus. In cases that these options are not available, you can make arrangements with taxi companies to ensure the safe transit of your employees. If your party is at a place on a bus route, offer change or tokens to pay for the fare that will get people home safely.