When planning on hosting a summer party, we don’t often consider where our legal obligation begins and ends when it comes to monitoring our guests’ alcoholic consumption levels.
Liquor is usually available to most of us on a regular basis. It’s there at dinner parties, barbeques, birthdays, weddings and other special events like banquets, awards ceremonies and charity fundraisers. Whether you are an individual or a corporation, as soon as you become the “host”, you suddenly have the burden of responsibility to ensure that nothing bad happens as a result of being connected to the supply of that alcohol.
‘Host Liquor Liability’ refers to your ‘responsibility’ when you are considered the ‘host’ providing and/or serving liquor to others. If property is damaged or worse, someone is injured or killed and a court of law decided that you were somehow involved by virtue of the “event” you hosted where liquor was available, you could find yourself in a whole heap of trouble.
Points of Interest:
Have you considered if one of your intoxicated guests leaves in a car and causes an accident? Are you responsible for taking the keys, calling a cab or offering a bed for the night? Who should be held liable and pay for catastrophic injuries and deaths resulting from your guest’s impaired driving?
A social host may be implicated in the creation of the risk to users of the road. This becomes more significant if the social host knows that an intoxicated guest is going to drive a car, and does not make reasonable efforts to prevent the guest from driving.
If you entertain frequently, consider talking with your broker about increasing your liability limits or adding a personal umbrella liability policy to your portfolio.
There are steps you can take to help minimize the risk to you and your guests. Here are just a few of the things you can do that will be taken into consideration should something unplanned happen:
If you’re planning a party this summer, remember the duty of a social host is to take reasonable steps to ensure your intoxicated guests do not drive upon departure from your home. Their safety and the safety of others is also your responsibility.
Speak to your broker about how to best protect yourself against ‘Host Liquor Liability’ for your next occasion. Once your broker has you covered, you can relax and enjoy!
Article written by MIS Blog