The holiday season is fast approaching and with it comes a surge in drunk driving as many festivities include alcohol consumption for many Americans. Let’s prevent drunk driving
Studies have found that traffic fatalities do tend to spike around Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Fourth of July. The tragedy is that drunk driving incidents are preventable — with a little bit of planning, due diligence, and assertiveness on the part of responsible people.
Alcohol-related incidents don’t just affect traffic accident victims. Party hosts have been held legally liable for drunk driving incidents that occur after intoxicated individuals leave their homes.
Some states have “social host liability” laws that allow anyone injured by an intoxicated individual who got drunk or high at their party to sue the party host/homeowner. You are particularly at legal risk if the drinkers at your party are underage, or if you recklessly or negligently continue to serve alcohol to individuals who are clearly intoxicated.
Here’s how to hold a party responsibly and what do to if you plan on attending a party and drinking.
For party hosts
- Don’t make the booze the main attraction. There are lots of ways to set up the party. The wet bar or keg doesn’t have to be the first thing people see when they walk into your soiree.
- Make sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks available.
- Use small cups.
- Feed people. Food takes the edge off of intoxication. If nothing else, order pizzas.
- Avoid snacks that are too salty. Salt makes people drink more.
- Have a ‘key collection point.’ Toward the end of the party, station yourself by the keys. This will force all your guests to check in with you before they leave.
- Take the punchbowl or other alcohol away 1-2 hours before the party ends.
- Don’t serve alcohol to people who are already visibly drunk.
- Plan to have people sleep overnight.
- Consider renting a van for the night and providing a safe ride home for your guests yourself.
- Have a caterer run the bar, and allow people to buy their own drinks, rather than host it yourself. This provides a layer of liability insulation between you and any damage your inebriated guest may cause. You will also have a sober and professional bartender available to politely decline selling the drink and offer a soda instead.
- Consider a dry party.
For party goers
- Agree ahead of time on who will be driving. That individual should abstain from drinking throughout the night, ideally.
- Download the SaferRideNow app, which gives you access to professional and vetted personal drivers to drive your car home for you. With the tap of a button have a professional driver, get you and your car, to your destination safely. It’s available for both Android and Apple phones.
- Call a taxi.
- Consider a ride-sharing service like Lyft or Uber to take you to and from party. Or use the service if you are too impaired to drive home.