Hosting a Party for the Big Game Next Month? 10 Tips for Reducing Risks

In 39 states, social hosts who serve alcoholic beverages can be held liable for an injury or death caused by a guest who is subsequently involved in an alcohol-related auto accident. Such social host liability laws and judicial rulings extend to commercial alcohol servers, as well.

If you are planning to host a Super Bowl party at your home, the I.I.I. suggests the following:

  1. Make sure you understand your state laws. Familiarize yourself with your state’s social host liability laws.
  2. Speak with an insurance professional about your homeowners coverage. Homeowners insurance usually provides some liquor liability coverage, but it is typically limited to $100,000 or $300,000—which might not be enough.
  3. Hire a professional bartender. Most bartenders are trained to recognize signs of intoxication and are better able to limit consumption by partygoers. 
  4. Encourage guests to pick a designated driver who will refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages in order to be able to drive other guests home. 
  5. Be a responsible host. Limit your own alcohol intake so that you will be better able to judge your guests’ sobriety. 
  6. Offer non-alcoholic beverages and always serve food. Eating and drinking plenty of water, or other non-alcoholic beverages, can help counter the effects of alcohol.
  7. Do not pressure guests to drink or rush to refill their glasses when empty. And never serve alcohol to guests who are visibly intoxicated. 
  8. Stop serving liquor toward the end of the evening. Switch to coffee, tea and soft drinks.
  9. If guests drink too much or seem too tired to drive, call a cab, arrange a ride with a sober guest or have them sleep at your home.
  10. Encourage all your guests to wear seatbelts. Studies show that seatbelts save lives.