Christmas and New Year’s means party season! Are you thinking of throwing a Christmas or New Year’s party in your home? Have you heard of a law called Social Host Liability? It’s a law that “holds someone responsible as a social host for any party on their property.”
The courts are starting to inch closer to expecting a higher duty of care on social hosts, regardless if you serve the alcohol or if guests bring their own. This includes anything that happens on or off your property.
As Social Host Liability evolves in the Canadian Court system, there are things you can do to protect yourself, as society becomes more and more litigious.
This can be difficult to manage with a large number of guests. In a nutshell, your goal is to do your best to prevent drunk driving and doing your best to help guests arrive home safely.
Guests do have legal responsibility. Everyone knows it’s illegal to drive intoxicated.
Check out this link from MADD Canada on Blood Alcohol Concentration. There are quite a few misconceptions between the number of drinks and time.
Some tips when having a party during the holidays:
- Remember, it’s your home, so it’s your rules. Invite people who respect who you are and your ethics.
- Have a safekeeping area for car keys. Be sure this rule is made known before the party.
- Ask if people have a designated driver.
- Have a guest room ready.
- Have a taxi number and cash on hand for a cab ride home. No one walks back drunk either.
- Have food at your party, water and other non-alcoholic beverages available.
- If you are serving alcohol, consider the last call an hour before everyone leaves and offer tea, coffee, or a special foodie treat before the evening winds down.
- Be the designated driver.
- Find a friend who will volunteer to walk people home, even if it’s just next door.
- Organize designated drivers and offer them a reward for doing so.
Impairment is not limited to alcohol. We’re talking Cannabis and other drugs too. Consider checking out this link from MADD on Cannabis and driving.
Everyone wants to have a safe and happy holiday during the Christmas and New Year season. Be sure to do what you need to keep your guests safe and to protect yourself.