Inviting a few friends over to celebrate the season or ring in the new year? Your social host liability and responsibilities go further than just providing the memorable music, drinks and delicious appetizers. As a social host, you are responsible for ensuring the safety of your guests. While you don’t have the same responsibilities as someone who runs a bar or restaurant, if you are having an event in your home or on your property where alcohol is served, you may have more legal responsibilities than you think.
As a social host, you should be aware of how much alcohol your guests are consuming, whether you provided it or they brought it along themselves. Guests who leave your home intoxicated could be involved in a motor vehicle accident injuring themselves or others. Guests who over indulge can also choke, slip and fall, assault another or injure themselves in a number of other ways. As a social host, you may be sued if you were aware that your guest was intoxicated and you did not prevent them from driving or becoming injured.
Prevention and planning ahead is always the best course of action when hosting a party where alcohol is involved. It is much easier to reason with your guests when they arrive at the party sober than when they are trying to leave the party intoxicated. Explain to your guests ahead of time that you have zero tolerance for drinking and driving and that they will either leave your party sober, in a taxi or not at all.
Here are some tips for safe social hosting:
* Limit guest list to those you know
* Provide filling food for guests and alternative non-alcoholic beverages
* Arrange transportation or overnight accommodations for those who should not drive home
* Stop serving alcohol well before the time the party is to end
* Do not serve guests who are visibly intoxicated
* Consider hiring a smart serve trained bar tender for your party
* Stay alert yourself, always remembering your responsibilities as a host
Social Host Liability. A few important numbers you may need in the Ottawa area:
The Ride-Dowload the App
WestWay Taxi – (613) 727-0101
Blue Line (613) 238-111
UBER -Dowload the App
DJs Taxi – (613) 829-9900