- Encourage guests to pick a designated driver who will refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages so that he or she can drive other guests home.
- Consider hiring a professional bartender. Most bartenders are trained to recognize signs of intoxication and will limit consumption by partygoers.
- Be a responsible host/hostess. Limit your own alcohol intake so that you will be better able to judge a person’s sobriety.
- Offer non-alcoholic beverages and always serve food. It is proven that food can help counter the effects of alcohol.
- Do not pressure guests to drink or rush to refill their glasses when empty. And never serve guests who are visibly intoxicated.
- Stop serving liquor toward the end of the evening and switch to coffee, tea and soft drinks.
- If guests drink too much or seem too tired to drive home, call a cab, arrange a ride with a sober guest or have them sleep at your home.
- Encourage all your guests to wear seatbelts as they drive home. Studies show that seatbelts save lives.
The III recommends to “Talk with your insurance agent or company representative about your liability insurance coverage and any exclusions, conditions or limitations your policy might have for this kind of risk. Appropriate liability insurance coverage is necessary. In some cases special event coverage may be available that will cover both liquor liability and other liability exposures specific to the event.”
* A Social Host is any person who by express or implied invitation invites another person into their homes and who legally provides alcoholic beverages to their social guest. If you serve alcohol to a social guest who is “visibly intoxicated” who causes injuries to a third party (i.e. drink and drive), you can be held responsible for the injuries or damages sustained as a result of the visibly intoxicated guest.
Further, New Jersey Courts have held that guests who serve themselves at a party will not remove the social host from responsibility. Still, the social host will not be liable for injuries of the legal age drinking guest themselves; only third party injuries caused by the guest as a result of the guest being served while visibly intoxicated during the party. Under no circumstances should alcohol be served to a minor.