Restaurant / Bars Blog

Holiday Party Liability

holiday party 1As Christmas and New Year’s fast approach, you are likely getting ready for some holiday parties. Before you break out the eggnog and champagne, however, be sure to consider your responsibilities as a holiday party host. Are you liable for the actions of your intoxicated partygoers? The good news for you from a liability standpoint is that typically California does not hold social hosts liable for the actions of their visitors. However, a social host can be held liable for damages if they knowingly served alcohol to a minor or to a legally inebriated individual.

In either case, your first priority as a party host this holiday season should be to ensure the safety of your guests. To ensure a safe and merry holiday season, please consider the following holiday party tips from Tegner-Miller Insurance Brokers.

1. For larger parties, consider hiring a licensed bartender to serve drinks. Bartenders are trained not to over-serve and will help you identify guests who are inebriated.
2. Arrange a designated driving system BEFORE the party begins. Make sure that there are designated drivers for all guests who will be imbibing. You can also provide a small incentive for designated drivers, like a gift bag.
3. Limit the amount of hard alcohol you serve at your party. Sticking with beer or wine will significantly reduce your guests’ alcohol intake and stop individuals from drinking too quickly.
4. NEVER serve to minors. While it might be tempting to let family friends under the age of 21 drink at your party, it is not worth the liability.
5. Begin to serve food and non-alcoholic beverages at the end of the night. This will help guests sober up before they leave your party.
6. Finally, as a host you should never drink too heavily. It is the responsibility of the host to identify and deal with potential problems as they arise. Maintaining your sobriety will greatly assist you in this capacity.

From Tegner-Miller Insurance Brokers, we wish you all a merry and safe holiday season. If you have any further questions, please give us a call at (310) 828-9662.