Party-Hosting Liabilities for Private Gatherings

Party-Hosting Liabilities for Private Gatherings“Social host liability” is the legal term for the criminal and civil responsibility of an individual who provides liquor to a guest. Social host liability can have serious consequences for those who hold the party.

Social host liability laws, also known as “Dram Shop Liability,” typically offers an injured person, such as the victim of a drunk driver, a method to sue the person who served the alcohol. There are circumstances under these laws that criminal charges may also apply.While a social host is not liable for injuries sustained by a drunken guest (as the guest is also negligent), the host can be held liable for harm to third parties, and even for passengers of the guest who have been injured in their car.

This is why Connecticut Homeowners Insurance can incorporate liquor liability coverage, so you are able to host with peace of mind. Before planning a party in your home, speak to your insurance professional to review your coverage for any exclusions, conditions or limitations your policy might have that would affect your social liability risk.

Protect Yourself and Your Guests

Your motto throughout the duration of your private gathering should be “a good host is a responsible host.” It would be in your best interest to stay on your toes and pay close attention to how your guest’s are feeling. Always encourage safe alcohol consumption and take these steps to reduce your social host liability exposure:

  • Laws vary state to state. Make sure you fully understand Connecticut’s laws. 
  • Consider venues other than your home for the party.
  • Hire a professional bartender as they should be trained to recognize signs of intoxication and are better able to limit consumption.
  • Encourage guests to have a designated driver.
  • Limit your own alcohol intake as a responsible host/hostess, so you can accurately gauge your guests’ sobriety.
  • Offer non-alcoholic beverages and serve plenty of food.
  • Never pressure guests to drink or rush to refill their glasses.
  • Stop serving liquor toward the end of the evening.
  • If guests over indulge or seem too tired to drive, call a cab or ask them to stay with you for the evening.

It is important to note that for anyone serving alcohol to guests, social host liability coverage is not always covered by a general homeowners insurance policy. If you are hosting any gatherings be sure to speak with a Connecticut homeowners insurance agent to help you evaluate your financial protection needs.


About Byrnes Agency

At Byrnes Agency, we offer auto insurance solutions that can be tailored to meet your specific needs. Whether you have an old classic car or a brand-new model, we have the right coverage for you. To learn more about our products, contact us today at one of our two locations.

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Phone: (860) 774-8549

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Dayville, CT 06241

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