It’s the time of year for friends and family and the Holiday Party.
Besides the office party, you may be attending parties hosted by friends or relatives. Perhaps you’ve planned an event where you will serve as host.
If you plan to play the part of party host, it’s important to know your responsibilities. Not only must you ensure a safe environment for guests during the party, you may be responsible for their safety after they leave.
Plan a Fun and Safe Holiday Party
Your Holiday Party likely will have food and festive decorations. Will it also include alcohol?
Have you see the story about the Connecticut State Trooper in legal trouble for an alleged driving drunk accident? In addition to suing the trooper involved in a crash, the victims are suing the brewery where the officer had been drinking.
While your home is not a brewery or tavern, serving guests alcohol makes you somewhat responsible for guests’ behavior even after they leave.
Our friends at the Insurance Information Institute (III) say most states have Social Host Liability Laws. These laws allow victims of intoxicated individuals to sue the person who served the alcohol.
Homeowners Insurance may provide some protection. However, the amount of coverage may be limited. Know what your policy covers before your party.
Additionally, some states allow criminal charges against the party host.
In Connecticut, knowingly serving alcohol to a minor, or allowing minors to be served alcohol in your home can result in arrest. The severity of the charges depends on your involvement.
The III recommends several steps you can take to make your party safer.
- Host the party at a location with a liquor license
- Hire a professional bartender
- Encourage the use of designated drivers
- Offer non-alcoholic drinks and food
- Stop serving alcohol before the end of the party
- Don’t allow visibly intoxicated or tired guests to drive
If you don’t want that drunk friend spending the night on you couch, you have plenty of options to get the guest home. Perhaps a sober friend, cab, or rideshare can safely deposit them on their doorstep.
Like all good party hosts, you need a plan. Know your responsibility under Connecticut law. Know what your Homeowners Policy does and doesn’t cover. Be willing to tell a guest they’ve had enough.
The Keating Agency has been your local, independent insurance agency for the last 50 years. We want this holiday season to be the happiest one yet.