Safe and sane Super Bowl hosting
With the Super Bowl approaching, we thought it would help to offer some tips on how to host the event without opening too much to risky situations. In fact, regardless of the event that gathers your friends over, if you’re planning to serve alcohol, it is important to take steps to limit your liquor liability and make sure you have the proper insurance.
There is a legal term for the criminal and civil responsibility of a person who serves liquor to a guest—social host liability. Laws involving this liability vary widely from state to state, but it’s present in 43 states. The majority of these laws offer an injured person, such as the victim of a drunk driver, a way to sue the person who served the alcohol. Moreover, there are circumstances under these laws where criminal charges may also apply.
A social host will not be held liable for injuries sustained by a drunken guest as they are also both responsible and negligent, the host can be held liable for third parties. Yes, it sounds terrible, and yes, it’s important that you speak to your insurance agent or company representative about your policy’s coverage and exclusions, conditions or limitations, before planning your next party at home.
We’ve put together a list with tips to promote safe alcohol consumption to reduce your social host liability exposure:
- Know your state’s laws. The social host liability laws vary greatly from state to state: some states so not impose any liability on social hosts; others limit the liability to injuries that occur on the host’s premises; some states extend the host’s liability to injuries that can occur after a guest leaves the party. All states have laws that forbid serving alcohol to minors.
- Does it have to be home? If possible, consider venues other than your home for the party. Choosing a restaurant or bar with a liquor license will help you minimize the liquor liability risks.
- Have a designated driver. This person will refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages so that he or she can drive everyone else home. If no one is willing to step up, encourage your guests to Uber to the party and back home again.
- Be a responsible host. Lead by example and limit your own alcohol intake to at least be better able to judge your guests’ sobriety.
- Serve non-alcoholic beverages and food, too.
- Know when to stop serving alcohol. Towards the end of the afternoon you can switch to coffee, tea and soft drinks.
- Call a cab or prepare the couch. If your guests drink too much or seem too tired to head home, call a cab, request an Uber, or prepare the couch.