TurnersTips for party liquor service

You're having a party and it is not "dry". How can you reduce your risk of being sued? Here's some thoughts to consider:

What are you doing at this party? If drinking is the focus then you need to distract people. No "chugging" competitions and no "slamming" of the shots.

Have some tasty food available. If people are eating then they absorb alcohol more slowly. Have a variety of foods available and make sure that everyone has ample opportunity to stop and eat.

Be sure to serve the drinks rather then offer a self-service bar. You have no control of how heavily the liquor is being poured at a self-service bar. An old bartender's trick is to mix a "special drink" for the near-intoxicated guest. The liquor is just a whisper but the combination of mixes makes it appear to be much stronger then usual. This avoids confrontation and allows this guest to sober up as the party continues.

If you offer your guests non-alcohol and low-alcohol drinks you might be surprised as to how many will jump on this. It is not uncommon for a guest to have one drink with full alcohol content and then switch to a "virgin" version of the same drink for the balance of the evening.

Do not encourage over indulgence by offering extra-strength beer, double shots or extra-strong mixed drinks.

Cut off the booze before you expect the party to break up. Start serving the coffee and a hearty late night snack.

This party is a night for your friends and family. Give them the gift of staying sober so you can watch over the evening and be on top of any potential problems. Consider putting on a good party as almost being like working an unpaid job. Do it well.

Pay attention to your guests’ behavior and appearance. Have a few ideas in mind as how to address a situation with a guest who has over indulged.

Stop serving alcohol to a guest who is already intoxicated. If a person is obviously drunk and you keep serving that person alcohol then if something goes wrong you have little defense in a lawsuit. A reasonable person would not continue serving that intoxicated person liquor. Be aware that a person could be well on their way to being drunk and not show any outward signs of that condition. You need to keep track of what people are doing.

Have a couple of people as back-up if you do find yourself in a difficult situation. Bring them into the plan ahead of time so that they know you are counting on their help. Everyone will appreciate the efforts that are made to make sure the evening is a success.

Last, but not least, make sure your home insurance policy is in force. If there is a claim then you might have some financial backup, depending on the circumstances.