The holiday season can be incredibly busy with gifts to buy and wrap, homes to decorate, and parties to plan and attend. With all this goodwill and celebration, it can be easy to forget to take certain precautions to protect yourself when it comes to hosting holiday parties. In 2010, an estimated 1,082 people died in drinking and driving related crashes, accounting for 43 percent of all traffic deaths.
Party Liability Laws
If you plan to host a party, you need to be aware of the laws in your province to determine if they hold individuals responsible for damage or injury caused by intoxicated guests.
Before hosting a party, it's a good idea to talk with your HUB broker about your liability insurance coverage and any limitations you might have. If you don't already have one, you may want to ask about an umbrella policy which extends your amount of liability coverage.
Common Sense Tips
Here are some tips to help ensure that common sense prevails at your holiday party:
- Let the professional do it. Host your party at a hotel, restaurant or bar with a liquor license, rather than at your home. This will help minimize your liability risk. Another option would be to hire a professional bartender. Most bartenders are trained to handle partygoers, and it is much easier for a professional to stop a friend or family member from having another drink.
- Do not serve alcohol to anyone underage, and make sure your guests follow the same rule.
- Practice good party management. Balance the beverages by offering non-alcoholic options such as juice, soda, tea, sports drinks and water. Be slow to refill glasses, giving guests time to mix and mingle. It's a good idea to serve food throughout the party to keep guests full and help reduce their alcohol intake.
- Ask some guests to act as designated drivers. These individuals will then be available to drive other guests home, if needed.
- If guests are impaired or too tired to drive home, ask one of your designated drivers to assist. You can also call a taxi or suggest they sleep over.
- While it may seem obvious, remind guests to wear their seatbelts as they drive home. It has been proven over and over again that seatbelts save lives.
Follow these simple precautions to help ensure that your holidays are fun, festive and worry-free.