Social Host Liability During the Holidays
  • Post last modified:October 5, 2020
  • Post category:Insurance

With the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, you may be curious about the potential social host liability during the holidays.

The holidays go hand in hand with serving alcohol, and in fact, the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve account for major alcohol consumption in America.

While this may be good news for liquor stores looking to make a profit this time of year, it still comes with a major liability, even if you and your guests are safely nestled in the comforts of your home.

How the Dram Shop Law plays a role with alcohol.

Under the Dram Shop Law in Connecticut, establishments are held liable for serving a person who is already intoxicated or under the age of 21. Additionally, said establishment can face legal action for any damages caused by the intoxicated individual they served.

The Dram Shop Law does not apply to social hosts serving alcohol at their home, however, and Connecticut’s criminal laws make it a misdemeanor for social hosts to provide alcohol to minors or if they fail to prevent minors from gaining access to it.

Additionally, a social host can be liable for damages if a minor becomes intoxicated and injures themselves or someone else during a holiday party. So, while you may not be directly in violation of the Dram Shop Law, you can still be liable if a minor, unintentionally or not, consumes alcohol.

How else does social host liability during the holidays put you at risk?

First of all, even if someone is old enough to be consuming alcohol at your home, this doesn’t necessarily prevent them from making poor decisions while intoxicated. Poor decisions can include driving drunk, damaging your home or personal property, and even injuring themselves or other guests on your property. If someone does get hurt on your property as a result of a guest consuming too much alcohol, you (as the homeowner) can be liable.

How can you decrease your risk?

First, make sure you establish some ground rules; guests who plan to drink at your holiday party should have a way to safely get home, and if they don’t, offer them a place to stay overnight until they sober up. The worst thing that can happen is for someone to end up in the hospital, because your guest drove under the influence.

Secondly, serve your guests wisely. While some guests may be able to handle more alcohol than others, it’s probably not the best idea to encourage drinking games or challenges. Remind everyone to pace themselves, and keep all liquor and alcoholic beverages in a safe area, away from the reach of minors.

Thirdly, make sure your homeowners insurance is up to date. Before you throw any sort of festive party this year, you’ll want to make sure you have the right coverage on your home. Having the right insurance can help protect you from financial burden due to liability or other damages, so be sure to contact one of our licensed insurance agents today by clicking the button below!