As a host, even in your own home, you don’t have the same legal responsibilities as a licensed establishment or retailer selling alcohol. But you do have a “Social Host” responsibility if guests are having alcohol on your property.
As a host it is important to be able to clearly make decisions, limit your own drinking, or don’t drink at all. Here are a few more tips that can help you reduce the risk:
- Ask your guests how they plan to get home (or will they be spending the night?)
- Make sure you have food and non-alcoholic beverages easily available throughout the event
- Serve alcohol vs having open access. Provide standard drink sizes, glasses, or a measuring tool to help your guests pour a standard drink size. Understanding Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)
- Be aware, guests can be impaired but not show signs of intoxication or “look drunk”. Talk to your guests and watch how much they are consuming
- Make sure alcohol is not accessible to minors (those under 19 years of age)
- Have a plan. Determine how you will handle a guest who may become intoxicated. Be prepared to ask for their car keys, call a cab/ride-share, or the police for help if a guest insists on driving or if things get out of hand
- Consider purchasing Social Host Liquor Liability coverage for the event. Understand more as a home owner
If you are organizing a function, company event, or renting a facility, you may be required to apply for a Special Occasion Permit (SOP) for the event. Make sure the staff and security are properly trained. You can learn more about SOP’s in our resource section.
Remember, if an alcohol-related injury results for a guest, you could be held liable. Safe and responsible starts with you.