If you’re thinking about hosting a holiday party this year, be sure
to add safety and common sense to your list. According to the Insurance Information
Institute, social host liability—the legal term for the criminal and civil responsibility of a
person who supplies liquor to a guest—can have serious consequences for party hosts. Social
host liability laws vary widely from state to state, but 43 states have them on the books. Most
of these laws allow the victim of a drunk driver to sue the person who served the alcohol.
Additionally, there are circumstances under these laws where criminal charges may also
As hosts, homeowners and renters could be liable for the safety of their guests.
The Russell Agency can help you plan for coverage if a guest is
injured in your home. Check your homeowners policy for adequate limits. Before you host
your party, call your The Russell Agency. Have us explain what coverages you currently
have and what coverages you might need.
The holidays are a great time to get together with family and friends. It’s important to
make sure they’re safe while at your home and they get back to their homes safely after the
party is over.
Be a responsible host when entertaining guests. If drinks are a part of your festivities,
limit your own alcohol intake so you can determine if a guest is able to drive at the end of the
night. Pick designated drivers who will refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages so that he
or she can drive other guests home. Provide plenty of tempting non-alcoholic beverages and
food for guests. Do not pressure guests to drink or rush to refill their glasses. And, never
serve guests who are visibly intoxicated. Stop serving alcohol at least one hour before the
party is over and switch to coffee, tea and soft drinks. Always serve food when serving
alcohol. High-protein foods such as meat and cheese take longer to digest, slowing the rate at
which the body absorbs alcohol. However, try not to serve salty foods. They make people
thirsty, so they drink more. If guests drink too much or seem too tired to drive home, call a
cab or arrange a ride with a sober guest.