Whether you’re hosting a birthday party, bridal shower, or a party to ring in the new year to celebrate all the new resolutions you and your friends have created, you should familiarize yourself with Indiana’s social host law. The fact is, as a host, you have a great deal of responsibility placed on your shoulders, aside from keeping your home under control and your guests happy. You are responsible for overseeing how much your guests drink and prevent them from consuming too much. While many are under the impression that their guests have the liberty of drinking however much they want, the law states otherwise.
The truth is, if you were to provide alcohol to someone at your party and continued to serve them despite the clear signs that indicated they were drunk, you could be held liable if they were to cause a drunk driving accident that resulted in damage or injuries. IC 7.1-5-10-15.5 states that a person who furnishes an alcoholic beverage to another would be held liable for damages caused by the impaired or intoxicated party who caused the accident if:
- You “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”
- “The intoxication of the person to whom the alcoholic beverage was furnished was a proximate cause of the death, injury, or damage alleged in the complaint.”
For example, let’s say you have an open bar at your party and saw John Doe consuming several drinks throughout the evening. He began stumbling and you even overheard him slurring his speech. While most think nothing of it, if you were to let John Doe leave and drive and he caused a car wreck that resulted in another motorist sustaining an injury, the victim could come after you for damages.
With that in mind, we want to help you become a responsible party host should you decide to throw the next soiree by providing you with some tips that can prevent you from being held accountable for an accident caused by someone else’s intoxication.
Tips that Can Help You be a Responsible Party Host
CBS 4 shared AAA’s ABC’S on how to be a good party host which we have provided for you below:
- Alcohol Awareness
- Be sure to find out if your guests have a designated driver and if not, have them assign someone with the role if they plan on drinking.
- Have an area in your home where your guests can place their car keys so that if you have to keep a set or two, it won’t be too much trouble to get them.
- Consider mixing drinks yourself and avoid open bars.
- Stop serving alcohol 90 minutes before the party is over so that your guests have time to sober up.
- Consider serving “high protein foods such as meats and cheeses as they stay in the stomach longer and slow down the rate of intoxication.”
- Don’t serve too many salty foods as it tends to make people thirsty “and speeds up intoxication.”
- Give your guests the option of choosing non-alcoholic beverages rather than those that only contain alcohol.
- Keep an eye on how your guests behave. If you notice someone is buzzed or drunk, help them arrange for someone to come and pick them up or schedule them an Uber or Lyft.
- Consider inviting any intoxicated friends to stay the night with you.
- If you have any guests who are adamant about leaving on their own, hide their keys until they calm down and agree to make alternate plans so that they can get home safely.
Now, given that New Year’s Eve recently passed, it is likely several accidents occurred on the roadways as this happens to be the time of year when most drunk driving crashes transpire. And if you are the unfortunate victim of one of these wrecks and would like to learn more about recovering compensation for the injuries you sustained, contact Hammond, IN personal injury lawyer Marshall P. Whalley. Our office would be happy to take the time to assess your incident and determine how much your injuries as well as property damage is worth and explain the various ways we can help you recover this amount.
You can also visit Marshall P. Whalley & Associates, PC at:
51 W. 112th Avenue
Crown Point, IN 46307