A party is your chance to celebrate an important event or just treat friends to a great time. But send your guests out on the road after they’ve been drinking, and it could end up in a tragedy. Many states now have social host laws, which hold you host responsible for injuries resulting from alcohol you furnish to your guests. If a friend leaves your St. Patrick’s Day gathering drunk and has an accident, you could have criminal or civil liability for injuries and damage.
You can’t control everything your guests do on St. Patrick’s Day, but there are 6 things you can do to ensure that your guests get home safely, with no liability for you:
- Don’t force drinks on people. Your guests are by definition grownups, and can decide for themselves if they want another drink. People rarely leave a party wishing they’d drunk more.
- Have juice, tea or water available. Some people might prefer a non-alcoholic drink because they’re driving, but will give in because there are none available.
- Serve food. High protein foods such as meats and cheeses slow the absorption of alcohol into the body.
- Stop serving alcohol two hours before the party is over. You can still serve non-alcoholic drinks and food. The extra time will help the alcohol dissipate from the system.
- Don’t serve alcohol to minors. It’s illegal in many states, and a bad idea in all of them.
- Above all, don’t let people drink and drive. As the host, it’s your responsibility to make sure that none of your guests get behind the wheel when impaired.
Keep the Luck of the Irish on your side, and that of all your friends, this St. Patrick’s Day. Prevent a DUI or an accident. Party responsibly.