When hosting a party where alcohol will be consumed, you may be sued if something goes wrong. The bottom line is to protect yourself and your guests. Generally, you know and care about your guests and you do not want to see them hurt, killed or convicted of a crime. Before, during, and after your party, do everything possible to ensure your guests safety.
A few examples include:
- As the host, drink moderately or not at all, so you can react quickly to prevent or deal with any problems that arise.
- Only serve alcohol to those 19 years of age and older.
- Do not serve alcohol to someone who is already drunk.
- Ensure your home is safe (free of hazards) for those who will be attending:
- Gate your stairs and pool and remove toxic products and choking hazards from low areas if children are attending a family party
- Fix that broken stair or remove that pile of debris from the yard that may cause injury
- Do not let a drunk guest drive. If you cannot stop them, call 9-1-1 to protect them and others from injury, death, and/or a criminal record.
- Plan physical activities such as swimming to take place before alcohol is served.
- Be prepared for overnight guests.
- Serve food along with alcohol and don’t allow drinking games.
- Always have food and lots of non-alcoholic drinks available.
Serving food and drinks can add to or take away from a party.
Take the attitude that cocktails are simply one form of refreshment, and that alcohol-free drinks are just as acceptable.
If you choose to serve alcohol, monitor the amount of alcohol your guests consume, and only serve those over the legal drinking age (for Ontario) of 19 years of age.
Supervising Your Party
As host, it is important to mingle with your guests. To make time for this, delegate some of your hosting duties to trusted friends and family members. As you are greeting your guests at the door, make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers, or you can help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers.
As you are saying goodbye to your guests, watch for the signs of impairment and ensure that no one you suspect has had too much to drink, drives home. As supervisor, there are other things to watch for in addition to drunk driving. You want to keep your guests safe from all hazards. Be aware of fights, alcohol poisoning, those venturing to dangerous parts of your property and other risky behaviours.
The more you drink, the harder it will be for you to anticipate problems, supervise the event, and intervene to avoid risks.
A sober host is a responsible host.
- Stay calm.
- Don’t argue with or embarrass the intoxicated guest.
- Invite the problem guest to an area away from other guests, where you can talk.
- Deal with the situation in a calm, friendly way. Speak to the person directly, and firmly explain that what they are doing is unacceptable at your party.
- If you cannot calm the guest down or convince them to stop what they are doing, ask a friend of theirs to try.
- If you decide to ask this person to leave, remember that you are still responsible for their safety (call a cab, get someone to drive them home, or if the situation gets out of control – call the police).
- If the person will give you their car keys, take them and store them away.
- If you can’t get their keys, ask a friend of theirs to get the keys from them.
- Politely, but firmly tell them they cannot drive because you care about them.
- Call them a cab; you may want to pay the fare in advance.
- Drive them home and call yourself a cab.
- Encourage them to spend the night.
- Speak to him/her privately - they are less likely to put on a tough guy/girl act when there is no audience.
- Stick to your guns. Don’t allow anyone to drive after drinking
- If an impaired person drives call 9-1-1.
1-888-TAXI GUY (1-888-829-4489)
Calling 1-888-TAXIGUY will connect you with local taxicab companies in over 700 cities and towns across Canada.
BE SAFE AND HAVE FUN