“Thousands of Americans die or are injured each year by drunk drivers. We at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. frequently see the results of these accidents. They are devastating. In an effort to reduce drunk driving accidents this holiday season, we are sharing some tips from MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving),” said Hurt By Drunk Driver Attorney, Randall Spivey.
Millions of Americans host social and business parties during the holidays, but are they aware of the risks they may be assuming should a guest consume alcohol at the party and drive drunk? Many states hold party hosts liable if a guest is involved in an alcohol-related accident following a hosted-event. If a guest, or a third party, is injured in an accident that is linked to a social or business party hosted, that individual or host could be held responsible for payment of medical bills, vehicle repair costs, lost time from work, and claims for wrongful death.
What every host needs to know
- Don’t rely on coffee to sober up your guests. Only time can make someone sober.
- Beer and wine are just as intoxicating as hard liquor. A 12-ounce can of beer, a five-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce wine cooler and an ounce and a half of liquor contain the same amount of alcohol.
- Don’t rely on someone’s physical appearance to determine if they have had too much to drink.
- Mixers won’t help dilute alcohol. Carbonated mixers like club soda or tonic water cause alcohol to be absorbed into a person’s system more quickly. Fruit juice and other sweet mixers mask the taste of alcohol and may cause people to drink more.
Here are some tips from MADD to have those social and business parties be safe by using common sense when planning:
- As guests RSVP, confirm that they have a plan for a safe way home via a non-drinking designated driver (rideshare service, public transportation, taxi, etc.).
- Plan activities like party games or door prize drawings that do not involve alcohol and engage people, resulting in a lower consumption of alcohol.
- Do not push drinks! Drinking at a party is not mandatory for having a good time.
- Provide plenty of food to keep your guests from drinking on an empty stomach.
- Avoid too many salty snacks, which tend to make people thirsty and drink more.
- Offer non-alcoholic beverages or mocktails for non-drinking designated drivers and others who prefer not to drink alcohol.
- Never serve alcohol to someone under 21 and never ask anyone under 21 to serve alcohol at parties.
- If, despite your efforts, some of your guests have had too much to drink, never let them drive home impaired.
- Have the number of a taxi service or a rideshare app on hand or offer your sofa to guests who need to stay put.
- Have fun – but not too much fun. To be a good host, you should stay within your limits in order to make sure your guests stay within theirs.
- Business parties should be held at non-business hour times so employees are not confused as to whether the party is a function of work.
- Holiday parties should be held at a different venue from the office. Having a separate venue will alleviate the confusion of whether or not it is a work function.
- Employees should know that attendance at the party is not mandatory, but optional.
- Alcohol should be limited, and there should be a designated bartender who limits the number of drinks served. Employees should not be allowed to make their own drinks as this can cause things to get out of hand quite easily.
- Only time sobers someone who has been drinking; so close the bar 90 minutes before the party ends. Serving a great dessert treat with coffee may be a good idea.
- If, despite the efforts, some guests have had too much to drink, drive them home, arrange for a ride with another guest who is sober, or call a taxi.