How to Serve Alcohol Safely
Everyone likes to have a good time, but it’s always good to be mindful when serving alcohol. Here are some tips to help protect you and your guests.
KNOW THE LAW
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), a host is not typically liable for injuries to a drunken guest, they can be held responsible for the harm done by that drunken person to third parties, for instance after they leave the party. This is because many states allow the injured person to sue the person who served the alcohol.
It may not feel oh-so-generous, but asking guests to Bring Your Own Beverage while you serve an array of non-alcohol options and possible mixers is a helpful way to protect yourself from third-party liability according to III.
CHECK YOUR HOMEOWNERS POLICY
According to III many homeowners insurance policies provide some liquor liability coverage, but you’ll want to check your individual policy to know how you’re covered.
CONSIDER RESERVING A VENUE
Hosting your gathering at a restaurant or event venue, instead of your home, where you can have trained bartenders on staff minimizes your liability and makes enjoying the evening even easier.
PICK A DD
Ask guests to choose someone to be the Designated Driver. This person will abstain fromdrinking and get their friends home safely.
Empty stomachs absorb alcohol at a faster rate than ones that have food in the tank. Make sure to serve an array of food options so guests may snack as they imbibe.
About an hour before the party wraps up do what bars do and have a last call, then put the alcohol away. Put out some last minute snacks for the road.
WORK THE ROOM
Make sure to check in with your guests often. If someone shows signs of having had too much to drink call them a cab or Uber at the end of the night.
NO SUCH THING AS “JUST BUZZED”
If someone feels buzzed they are impaired, so if a guest insists they are fine don’t argue with them or embarrass them, especially in front of other guests. Try to talk them down in private, joke with them, and get them into a car with a sober driver. If they will not listen to reason, ask a friend of theirs to try to talk with them. If all else fails still don’t let them drive. Be firm and ask them to stay the night at your place or offer for you to drive them home (provided you are sober) and catch a cab back. If they do drive call 9-1-1 and report an impaired driver. After all, it’s better to make them angry than have them in an accident or worse. If things get out of hand call the police to help.