Play it smart with spirited parties this Holiday Season
STAY SAFE – Parties catering to adults are often enhanced with a variety of food and beverage options, and alcoholic drinks are a common component of such gatherings. Party hosts and hostesses who will be offering the spirits to their guests should keep safety in the back of their minds.
Many party hosts are unaware that they may be held liable should a person become intoxicated at their event and then go on to injure another person while under the influence. This is why bartenders will stop serving customers who are visibly drunk. Although laws vary from place to place, party hosts should still keep tabs on their guests’ alcohol consumption, cutting off guests who might have had enough to drink.
In addition to monitoring alcohol consumption, party hosts can employ these additional practices to keep everyone safe.
- Collect keys upon entry to the party. Ask guests who plan to drink alcohol to surrender their car keys to you when they arrive at the party. Guests may be offended at having to relinquish control of their cars, but it is a wise move to remove any temptation to drive away.
- Remain sober. As the party host, you will have a number of responsibilities, including ensuring your guests’ comfort and safety. Having your wits about you will enable you to make better decisions for you and your guests.
- Serve plenty of food. Drinking on an empty stomach is a surefire way to get intoxicated. Be certain to have a number of foods available and encourage guests to dine before you start serving any alcoholic beverages. This way you can reduce the potentially intoxicating effects the alcohol will have on your guests. Though a full stomach won’t guarantee your guests won’t become intoxicated, they are likely to consume less alcohol on a full stomach and the food in their stomach can counter the effects of any alcohol they do consume.
- Keep drinks simple. Some specialty drinks call for more alcohol than others. In addition, fruity drinks can mask the flavor of the alcohol, causing a person to drink more than he or she would normally. Serve simpler drinks so guests know just how much alcohol they are consuming.
- Establish a cut-off time. Stop serving alcoholic beverages at a certain time. This will give guests time to sober up before the end of the party. The rate at which alcohol leaves the body and enables persons to no longer feel its effects varies depending on age, gender, weight, and even race. Experts advise only having one alcoholic beverage per hour, which is the average time it takes for that drink to be metabolized. Consuming nonalcoholic drinks between alcoholic beverages will keep blood-alcohol content down.
- Make nonalcoholic beverages available, too. Giving guests options may help them drink more responsibly. Drinking water is a way to flush out the system and reduce the effects of alcohol.
Party hosts often make alcoholic beverages available to their guests. Use caution and monitor guests’ drinking so no one gets sick or injured.