The Super Bowl is just around the corner, which means that you may be adding the final touches to that perfect Seahawks v. Patriots Super Bowl party you are hosting. Before hosting your Super Bowl 2015 party, you should be aware of your legal responsibilities as a host so that you can take precautionary steps to prevent legal liability.
You may be thinking, “my guests’ are over 21, they are free to drink and do what they want!” or “its not my responsibility to watch over my adult guests’!” Well, that is not the case. As a host, if you serve alcohol to a guest that you knew or should have known was intoxicated, and you knew they would be driving afterwards; you may be liable for any property damage or personal injury resulting from their subsequent drive home.
Since you are now aware that you can face legal liability for your guests’ actions, even after they leave your party, you should take steps to ensure that no one leaves your home after having one too many alcoholic beverages. Here are a few tips:
Designate a driver: As your guests’ arrive, ask them who will be driving them home. Once you have identified the designated drivers’, you will be able to keep an eye on how many alcoholic beverages they have consumed.
Provide other drink choices: Limit the amount of alcohol being served and provide non-alcoholic beverage alternatives like soda, water, and punch. The more drink options your guests’ have, the more likely they are to pick up a non-alcoholic beverage.
Serve your guests: Serve your guests’ their alcoholic beverages rather than allowing them to pour their beverages themselves. Place the alcohol you plan to serve in a cabinet or refrigerator so that when your guests’ are ready for another drink, you are in charge of getting it for them. That way, you can easily monitor how much your guest has had to drink.
Plan alternative routes home: You may have that one guest that, despite your best efforts, has ended up drinking too much. Be prepared for this scenario by making sure you have the phone number for a taxi company in your area handy so you can call them a taxi to ensure that they do not drive themselves.
If you would like more information on Social Host Liability or have any questions or concerns please contact Stiles Law at 704-719-2589.