Holidays & the Law

If you are hosting a holiday party this year, and you are serving alcohol at that party, it would be wise to do some research before opening the doors – and the bar.

Whether your party is at your home, or your place of business – you are liable for bad conduct if a guest gets drunk, leaves the party and injures someone else. And it is not just underage drinkers. If you serve anyone contrary to your State’s drinking and driving laws – you are then liable for that person’s behavior.

For instance, if you have a guest who becomes intoxicated at your party, cut them off, and make sure they don’t drive when leaving. If a guest shows up at your party and has already had a few – don’t serve them at all. If someone’s age is in question, ask for some ID before serving them any alcoholic beverages.

One thing that can benefit a homeowner who is throwing a party where alcohol will be served is a separate insurance policy for that event. Another way to avoid liability is to hire an independent contractor to serve the liquor, and to make decisions about who may and may not be served. In this case, the contractor’s insurance would cover most liability should something happen.

The bottom line is that you can be held liable if someone drinks too much at your party, and then injures someone else, or themselves. Call your insurance company to find out whether or not you can get a rider for your party. This will provide liability protection should something happen.

Decking the halls should be a fun and enjoyable experience for all, but make sure that you keep your guests – and others on our roadways safe during this holiday season.

If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.

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