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Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Alcohol / Drugs - Host Responsibility

Having a Party?

If you are hosting a party for a special occasion and are planning on serving alcohol, it is important that you be aware of your responsibilities.

By planning ahead you can lower the risk of alcohol related injuries or deaths for yourself and your guests.  Follow these tips to make your party as safe, and as, fun as possible!

  1. Don’t have too much to drink yourself! You can manage potential problems better when you can think clearly and act quickly.
     
  2. Make food readily available. People who have eaten absorb alcohol more slowly than those who have empty stomachs.
     
  3. Have non-alcoholic drinks readily available. See our Mocktail recipes for delicious non-alcoholic beverage ideas.
     
  4. Find out from your guests how they plan on getting home from your party. If they are planning to drink, you can ask for their keys as soon as they arrive. It is usually easier to reason with a sober person than one who has already been drinking. Also, try to have cash and phone numbers ready for taxis.
     
  5. Plan carefully who you invite! If one of your potential guests has a history of getting drunk and causing problems, do you really want to invite them?
     
  6. Mix and serve drinks yourself instead of having an open bar. Guests usually drink more when they can serve themselves. Avoid serving doubles, extra strong mixed drinks, or extra strength beer.
     
  7. Do not combine alcohol with potentially dangerous activities such as boating, swimming, snowmobiling, skiing or snowboarding. It will only increase the risk of injury and death.
     
  8. Do not permit drinking competitions or other practices that encourage excessive drinking, leading to intoxication.
     
  9. Stop serving alcohol an hour or two before the party is over. Bring out more food, and non-alcoholic drinks. This may give some of your guests a little time to begin to sober up before they leave. You may still need to arrange for transportation for some guests who may not be sober for a few good hours after the party.
     
  10. Be prepared to have some overnight guests. Never let an intoxicated friend get behind the wheel!
     
  11. Do not serve alcohol to someone who is already intoxicated. This will only increase the risk of injury and your risk of being sued.
     
  12. Don’t host your party alone. Have a trusted friend or family member help you keep your party under control.


References:

Being Sued can Ruin a Good Party – MADD Canada (pamphlet)
Having a Party? – CAMH




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