How to be a safe and responsible party host during the holidays

The holiday season is upon us! It’s safe to say that our calendars will soon be jammed with endless parties. With this significant uptick in socialization, there’s sure to be a large uptick in alcohol consumption as well. 

There are no excuses for not having a plan to get home safely nowadays – but we still just do not get the message.  

If you are planning to host a party this holiday season, the best thing you can do is plan, plan, plan to make sure everyone is safe while having a great time. 


What to do if you’re hosting a party 

If you are hosting a party and somebody has had a lot to drink, and you allow them to get into a vehicle and drive - you could certainly be held partially or fully liable for the consequences. 

Party hosts could be responsible if they don't stop intoxicated guests from driving home. Don’t automatically assume all your guests will make smart travel plans. 

Make sure everyone has a safe ride home  

Be clear when extending a party invitation that part of your plan is making sure everyone has a safe ride home.

The big thing is to plan in advance. You don’t want your guests to get to a party only to find out they can't stay or find any way to get out of there. 

Have this plan sent out well in advance to your invitees, and have it prominently displayed in your home.  

  • Have taxi numbers ready,
  • Encourage them to download ride sharing apps like Uber or Lyft,
  • Prepare places to sleep if people stay over in your house,
  • See if you can organize a car pool with one designated driver.

Monitor your guests’ consumption levels 

This means watching the volume of voice, problems with balance, becoming more aggressive and nodding off or acting tired. 

  • Hosts should serve the alcoholic beverages rather than allow guests to serve themselves,
  • Plan a cut-off time for alcohol just like a bar or restaurant would,
  • Make sure you aren't having too much to drink either while tending bar,
  • Serve alcohol-free alternatives and snacks,
  • Be mindful of how many drinks your guests are having.  

Know when you need to step in and take control 

As the host, it is your legal responsibility to make sure no one drives home drunk. If you have to take away their keys, then you need to do it. 

If an intoxicated guest insists on driving home, as the host, you should immediately call police to get them off the road. 

Watch out the morning after  

Sleep has no impact on reducing a person’s blood alcohol content. There are no quick fixes. If people choose to drink heavily the night before, they shouldn’t be driving first thing in the morning. It’s that split-second lapse in judgment that can result in a serious or fatal collision.

If you have people staying overnight, exercise the same precautions as you would the night before. 

If an intoxicated driver has injured you, the lawyers at Harris Law can get you the compensation to which you are entitled.