Halloween can be a fun time of trick-or-treating, jack- o’-lanterns and costume parties, but it can also be a deadly time of increased drunk driving. Anyone hosting a Halloween party should take steps to limit their liquor liability and make sure they have the proper insurance.
Social hosting liability laws vary widely from state to state. In Rhode Island, it is against the law for a host to permit an underage person to consume alcohol. Depending on the jurisdiction, violations of social host laws can lead to civil or criminal fines, imprisonment and monetary damages awards. If you are hosting a party where alcohol is served, it is your responsibility to make sure that your guests are capable of driving safely.
How to Protect Yourself– and Your Assets:
- Consider hiring a professional bartender to serve drinks; this will discourage guests from mixing their own drinks and help keep track of the amount of liquor consumed. Most bartenders are trained to recognize signs of intoxication and will limit consumption by party-goers who have had too much.
- Be a responsible host. Limit your own alcohol intake enables you to better determine if a guest is sober enough to drive at the end of the night
- Serve non-alcoholic beverages, always have other options on hand for guests who are driving.
- Do NOT serve minors. PERIOD.
- Don’t rush to refill guests’ glasses when empty, push the food, not the alcohol on your guests.
- Don’t admit individuals into your home that are already intoxicated.
- Stop serving alcohol at least one hour before the party ends. Serve only coffee, tea and non-alcoholic beverages toward the end of your party.
- Speak to each of our guests before they leave. If you think someone is unable to drive, call a cab, arrange a ride, or encourage the guest to stay at your house. This protects your guest as well as other drivers on the road.
- Remind your guests to wear seat-belts as they drive home.
As the holiday social season begins, now is a great time to call us at 401-846-9629 to discuss your liability insurance coverage and any exclusions, conditions or limitations your policy may have for these types of social hosting risks.
Article Content Courtesy: Insurance Information Institute