Be a Responsible Host/Hostess
Probably the worst party host ever was a man named Phillip Vandamm. His first egregious misstep was choosing the wrong guest of honor an ad executive named Roger Thornhill, mistaken to be a spy named George Kaplan. Second faux pas was having that wrong guest of honor kidnapped and forced to come to the party – Martha Stewart would never approve.
Then Vandamm totally interrogated his guest, asking several pointing and accusatory questions and getting nowhere. Concomitantly, he somehow forced the guest to drink bourbon – a whole lot of bourbon. Once completely inebriated, Vandamm then saw to it that his party guest was physically placed behind the wheel of a stolen convertible.
Just to be thorough, Vandamm sent his guest down a dangerously winding road, careening out of control along the edges of high cliffs steeply towering above the ocean. Somehow making it to the bottom of the mountain, guest finally had a run-in with the police – where he was no doubt arrested for drunk driving.
What say you? Worst host ever? By now you may recognize this story as the plot of one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous films – North By Northwest, starring Cary Grant.
Although none of us would dare force our guests to drink alcohol or to get behind the wheel of a vehicle as they leave our parties, there areas you may not realize you are liable for when when hosting a party at your home. According to MADD, every day in the United States another 28 people die due to a drunk driving accident. Knowing how to prevent a post-party accident could save your guests’ lives as well as your own heartache and financial & legal liability as the host.
Here are some suggested best party practices that could save lives as well as protect you as host:
- Identify who’s driving at the start of the party and don’t serve them any alcohol
- Offer plenty of food if alcohol is going to be served.
- 2/3 of guests are said to prefer non-alcoholic drinks, be sure you have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages available
- Make the purpose of the party something other than drinking (dinner, movies, watching a sporting event, playing music, etc.)
- Refuse to serve alcohol to anyone under 21 and stop serving everyone at a predetermined time (possibly an hour before the end of the party)
- Be proactive to offer to either call a taxi, set up a carpool with designated drivers, or to let people spend the night there
- Of course, work to make sure no one who has been drinking heavily leaves your party and gets behind the wheel of an automobile
Taking these precautions and others like them can prevent an unnecessary drunk driving accident. Negligence as a party host could do as much damage to guests as intent. If one of your guests leaves your party and is injured or causes harm to someone else due to intoxication, you could be held responsible. Contact the offices of Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert immediately if this has happened to you or someone you love. With over 90 years combined experience, we can help walk you through steps to protect yourself and your family.