It is not uncommon to eat, drink and be merry during the holiday season; however, it’s important to take caution when getting into the holiday spirits. With all the festive cheer it’s imperative not to lose sight of the responsibilities and potential liabilities you may face when holiday entertaining.
We tend to associate social host liability with commercial entities such as bars and restaurants, though the same risks apply for anyone inviting guests into their homes and serving alcohol. A social host can include anyone who is not selling or supplying alcohol for profit; is serving alcohol on the premises for which they are in control; or condones the consumption of alcohol on their property (for example guests bringing their own). Anyone assuming control of the premises, homeowner or renter, is responsible for the safety and well-being of people invited onto that premises.
A social host, may be liable if an intoxicated guest leaves their home and injures themselves or someone else. As the host you run the risk of being sued if you were aware that any of your guests were intoxicated and did nothing to prevent that guest from causing harm as the result of excessive consumption of alcohol.
The best course of action to diminish the risks of liability is to take preventative measures when hosting a party. Hosting responsibly includes the following:
Being a good host involves more than setting the perfect scene with festive décor, music and food; it also involves acting responsibly to ensure that your guests have a good time and remain free from any perils related to excessive alcohol consumption.