Throwing A Party Responsibly: How To Prevent DUIs When Alcohol Is Served At Your Celebrations


Graduations, summer kick-off parties, and other seasonal celebrations abound this time of year, and if you're hosting a party, safety should be at the forefront of your mind. As fun as it is to plan and throw a bash for all your friends and family, you owe it to them, yourself, and the public at large to be responsible with alcohol and take the extreme measures needed to keep everyone safe.

1. Go Out Of Your Way To Ensure That No Minors Are Served Alcohol

Even if the younger crowd at a party you host seem mature and responsible, resist the urge to allow them to drink. While they may find it disappointing, they'll still have plenty of opportunities to have fun, and your conscience will be clear. Not only is serving minors a crime, but you must also consider the fact that drivers in the age group of 16 to 19 years old are far more likely to end up in accidents.

If you're going to distribute alcohol freely at the celebration, assign someone to the duty of screening for minors or do it yourself. Even if those younger party-goers insist that they're not driving, you don't want to take that chance.

2. Mix And Mingle To Monitor The Effects Of Alcohol On Your Guests

Either you or another responsible adult should continuously mix and mingle throughout the big bash, watching out for people who have had too much to drink. Keep in mind that some guests might have brought their own bottles of wine or six-packs of beer with them; thus, the bar shouldn't be considered the only possible source of alcohol. As the host, you need to see that all your guests are having a good time anyway, so make the rounds, getting up close to people and making sure they're acting in a safe and responsible manner.

3. Don't Be Afraid To Cut Anyone Off From The Bar

No matter how much you may like someone or how badly they respond to being cut off from further drinking, do it if you feel they've had too much. This night will be over eventually and all should be forgiven, so don't worry about hurt feelings or the names you might be called for prohibiting someone from becoming intoxicated. Ultimately, you could be saving their or someone else's life, in addition to saving yourself the liability.

4. If You Can, Host The Party At An Establishment Licensed To Serve

Hosting your big event at an establishment that's licensed to serve alcohol can absolve you of a lot of responsibility. That establishment will be in charge of asking for identification from patrons to ensure no minors are being served, and they'll also know how to handle guests that have had too much to drink. Legally, anyone with knowledge of an intoxicated individual getting behind the wheel may be questioned later if an accident occurs, and they could be held accountable to some extent for allowing it to happen.

Gross negligence or reckless endangerment charges may be brought against someone who knowingly allows another person to drive drunk. Florida, for example, has a specific law regarding culpable negligence, where the witness to an intoxicated person sliding behind the wheel of a motor vehicle may face up to a year in jail if they failed to (try to) intervene. Renting a hall or room in a club or restaurant might help keep everyone under control, avoiding such a messy and potentially deadly aftermath.

5. Ask For Volunteer Designated Drivers On Your Invitations

If you do host the event at your residence, actively seek out designated drivers who can ferry people home who've had more than their fair share of spirits. Make a request for designated drivers right on your invitations and you're sure to have a few takers. You could also post signs around your home, asking people to be cautious with alcohol consumption and for others to offer a ride to those incapable of driving safely.

6. Be Prepared For Sleepover Guests, As A Last Resort

So long as you're comfortable with stragglers sleeping on your sofa (or floor, countertops, or wherever they might end up), you could let someone who shouldn't drive home stay at your house. As a last resort and to possibly prevent an alcohol-related accident from happening, be prepared to make this sacrifice, especially if you're willing to gather a group of people together and encourage them to drink. No matter what's being celebrated, you have a responsibility to the people at your party and innocent people on the road, even if you have a guest who isn't being responsible.

7. Speak With A DUI Accident Lawyer If Anything Does Happen

Despite your best efforts, someone attending your celebration could end up causing an accident. They might stop somewhere on the way home for a few more drinks or have not shown any indications of being intoxicated when leaving your party. Either way, if someone who spent time drinking alcohol at an event you hosted gets into any kind of accident thereafter, protect yourself by immediately contacting a DUI accident attorney, informing them of your efforts to prevent the incident and all other relevant details. Even if police don't contact you right away, any type of civil suit resulting from injuries or death from the accident might eventually involve you; therefore, you should seek legal counsel and contact offices like Maltezos Law Offices.

The fun of any celebration can quickly turn to tragedy when alcohol is involved. Beyond avoiding the legal complications that may befall your life if you host a party and something terrible happens, you don't want to endanger your party-goers or other people on the road. Be as diligent as you have to and make safety an integrated part of your party planning for everyone's sake.


11 June 2018

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