It doesn’t matter if a party has exquisite desserts, a spot-on D.J., or unforgettable entertainment—if a guest gets injured, your celebration automatically becomes a tragedy. If you’re throwing a party or hosting a dinner this holiday season, keeping your guests happy, well-fed, and safe should all be top priories.
Unfortunately, ensuring guest safety is not always easy when there’s alcohol involved. If you serve cocktails, wine, or beer at your party, there’s a good chance that a few guests will be a little tipsy by the time they’re ready to drive home. In order to promote guest safety and reduce the number of drivers leaving your party drunk, here are some tips for responsible holiday party planning.
Plan ahead. When your guests RSVP, ask how they are planning to get home from your party. If they don’t have a safe method, suggest options such as local public transportation and ride-sharing services.
Serve plenty of food. If your guests are drinking on an empty stomach, they will absorb the alcohol more quickly into their system. By offering plenty of snacks and treats to munch on throughout the night, you can help slow down this process and keep guests from getting too drunk or sick. Avoid serving popcorn, salted nuts, and other salty snacks—these can make people thirsty and cause them to drink more.
Serve non-alcoholic beverages. You’ll need something to offer the designated drivers, after all. And by encouraging everyone to drink non-alcoholic beverages, you help guests stay hydrated and reduce their chances of becoming ill from drinking too much.
Monitor alcohol consumption. Keep an eye on guests, and don’t be afraid to speak up if someone has had a few too many. Never push drinks or rush to refill empty glasses—remember, you don’t need alcohol to have a great night.
Limit your own alcohol intake. To be a good host, you need to limit your own alcohol intake to encourage guests to follow suit. Don’t forget—at the end of the night, you’ll need to be clear-headed enough determine who is sober enough to drive home.
Never serve alcohol to minors. If you are found serving alcohol to minors at your party, you can face serious charges. And if minors leave your party intoxicated, you may be held responsible if they are injured in an accident.
Provide non-alcoholic games and entertainment. Plan activities not centered on alcohol, such as party games, dancing, and karaoke. When you keep your guests engaged with entertaining activities rather than drinking, you can help reduce their alcohol consumption.
Stop serving alcohol towards the end of the night. Most people metabolize alcohol at the rate of one drink per hour. Give your guests plenty of time to sober up before driving home. After you close the bar, offer guests coffee, non-alcoholic beverages, and food to facilitate the sober-up process.
Never let guests drive home impaired. If a guest appears intoxicated, offer them alternatives to driving home such as taking a taxi or ride share. Keep blankets and pillows handy so you can give your guests a comfortable place to spend the night if they can’t find a safe way home.
The holidays are a time for family, friends, and celebration, and it would be devastating if you or someone you care about was injured in an accident. You can reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road and contribute to the overall safety of your community this holiday season by planning your parties responsibly.
Unfortunately, just because you behave conscientiously doesn’t mean other hosts and partygoers will. If you or a loved one suffers harm because of a drunk driver’s recklessness, contact an experienced auto accident lawyer. A skilled and seasoned lawyer can make sure you receive fair compensation, which can cover medical costs and other expenses related to your long-term well-being and recovery.
About the Author:
Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his 15-year career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The Injury Law Firm of South Florida, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.