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Hosting a Personal or Corporate Holiday Party?

September 15, 2013

It’s hard to believe the holidays are upon us once again.  For some party hosts that means popping the top on a bottle of bubbly or spicing up the eggnog.  The end of the year is a time to celebrate for many reasons, but what happens when you let your guests get too jolly?  The party host could find themselves dealing with an unwanted hangover.

holiday party hat

Individuals and employers hosting parties can be held liable in cases where a guest or third party is injured in an accident related to the alcohol consumed at the party.  Hosts could be held liable for items such as vehicle repair costs, lost time from work, medical bills and even wrongful death.

Indiana law specifically states that it is unlawful for a person to provide alcoholic beverages to another person who is intoxicated if the person knows that the other person is intoxicated.  Further, a person who furnishes an alcoholic beverage to a person is also liable for damages in a civil action if the person furnishing the alcoholic beverage had actual knowledge that the person to whom the alcoholic beverage was furnished was visibly intoxicated at the time the alcoholic beverage was furnished and this is a proximate cause of death, injury or damage to a third party.

Unlike Dram Shop laws, which targets the commercial sale of alcohol, Social Host laws focus on those in control of residential places where minors and guests could consume alcohol.  Thus, homeowners, landlords and tenants are all at risk.  If you plan on hosting a party this holiday season, please read the list of tips provided below.

  1. Limit guests to those you know
  2. Provide food and non-alcoholic beverages for guests
  3. Arrange transportation or overnight accommodations for guests
  4. Review your insurance policy before the event to ensure proper liability coverage
  5. Stay alert. Always remember your responsibilities as host
  6. Arrange activities that don’t require alcohol
  7. Do not encouraging excessive drinking by guests
  8. Stop serving guests who are visibly intoxicated
We would like to wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season and a joyous new year!

Wilson Kehoe Winingham brings you this information with best regards for you and your family’s safety.

Sincerely,
 
Bruce Kehoe                                                        
Bill Winingham

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