Hosting a holiday party? Check your legal liability - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hosting a holiday party? Check your legal liability

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Because of social host liability, you could be paying for your holiday party for a long time to come if you don't take the required steps to be a safe party host.

Here are a few tips for hosting from the Area Substance Abuse Council:

  1. Have plenty of non-alcoholic drinks available. If there are other options available, your guests may not feel pressured to just drink alcohol.
  2. Be sure to serve plenty of food. Alcohol consumed on a full stomach is absorbed slower than alcohol absorbed on an empty stomach.
  3. Don't drink too much yourself. As the host, it is your responsibility to keep an eye on your guests. If problems should arise, you'll be able to handle them better if sober.
  4. Don't allow guests to pour their own drinks. Most people drink more when they serve themselves. Mix the drinks yourself and avoid doubles.
  5. Stop serving alcohol at least an hour before the party ends. Bring out more food and non-alcohol drinks for your guests. Remember food and non-alcoholic drinks do NOT sober people up. Only time allows the body to rid itself from alcohol.
  6. Find out how all of your guests will be getting home. Go beyond just asking guests if they'll " be all right" when they are walking out the door.
  7. Intervene if necessary. Your guest may be upset, but it is worth a friend being angry then a tragedy happening because you did not step in.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving, (MADD) estimates that each year nearly 1000 people die due to impaired driving accidents from Thanksgiving to New Years. Because of increased consumption of alcohol and an increase in the number of special events and parties, drinking and driving is much more prevalent.

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