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Responsible Hosting Tips

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Responsible Hosting Tips 1

As the host of a party, you may be held legally responsible for the result of injuries or damages that occur as a result of the alcohol you serve. Reduce the risks, increase the good times, and help ensure your guests arrive home safely by following these tips for socially responsible hosting:

  • Do not drink too much yourself. As the host, you can stay on top of and avoid potential problems when you can think clearly and act quickly.

  • Find out how guests will be going home from your party. Be prepared to take away car keys. Promote the use of designated drivers and encourage guests to leave their cars at home and take public transportation, cabs, or walk. Have cash and phone numbers ready for taxi companies.

  • When your guests arrive by car, collect their car keys. That way, when they are ready to leave, they must get a second opinion on whether they are sober enough to drive home.

  • Stop serving alcohol at least one hour before the party is over. Bring out coffee and alcohol-free drinks and food. But remember that coffee and cold showers do not make a person sober. Only time allows the body to consume and rid itself of alcohol.

  • Plan to deal with any guest who drinks too much. Before the party gets going, ask someone reliable to help you keep things under control.

  • Mix and serve drinks yourself or designate a bartender instead of having an open bar. Avoid serving doubles and keep shot glasses, jiggers or self-measuring one-ounce bottle spouts handy to measure drinks. Guests are less likely to drink excessively when standard measures are used.

  • If you serve an alcoholic punch, use a non-carbonated base such as fruit juice. The body absorbs alcohol faster when mixed with carbonation.

  • Be prepared for overnight guests. Have blankets and sleeping bags ready.

  • Always serve food with alcohol. It is always better to eat while drinking than to drink on an empty stomach. High protein and carbohydrate foods like cheese, meats, veggies, breads and light dips are especially good. They taste great and do not make guests thirsty, as salty, sweet or greasy foods do.

  • Do not force drinks on your guests or rush to refill their glasses when empty. Some guests may not wish to appear rude and will accept drinks they do not want.

  • If you observe a guest drinking too much:

    • engage him/her in conversation to slow down the drinking.

    • offer high protein food like pizza, shrimp or spareribs.

    • offer to make the next drink, using less alcohol and mixing it with a non-carbonated base.

  • Do not plan physical activities when you serve alcohol. People are more prone to injury or mishap after drinking.

  • Always have low-alcohol and alcohol-free drinks, such as coffee, pop, fruit punch, juice and water available.


1. Race Against Impaired Driving. Responsible Hosting Tips. Retrieved on January 20, 2004 from the World Wide Web: