You better watch out…if your guests get drunk

Dear Editor:

Holidays and a cup of good cheer, they often accompany each other at parties this time of year. With the holiday season and all those parties rapidly approaching, Professional Insurance Agents of New Jersey Inc. today reminded party hosts to use care when serving alcohol to guests.

If guests become intoxicated, it is the host’s duty to oversee their transportation arrangements. If any of your guests has had too much to drink, take his or her car keys and call a taxi, or ask someone who was not drinking to drive the person home.

Liability responsibility has been expanded by the New Jersey Supreme Court so that home owners now can be held liable for serving too much alcohol to a guest who is later involved in an accident, PIANJ warned.

PIANJ recommends several tips to help hosts ensure safety when serving alcohol at holiday parties:

Have a responsible bartender. Ask a friend or relative you trust to act as a bartender. Do not have an open bar.

Serve alcoholic drinks only upon request and offer a wide variety of non-alcoholic beverages such as sparkling water, juice drinks and soft drinks.

Avoid making alcohol the main focus of the social event. Create a setting conducive to easy, comfortable socialzing. Entertain guests with music, games and dancing. This encourages conversation and social interaction rather than heavy drinking.

Always serve food when serving alcohol. High protein foods such as meat and cheeses take longer to digest, slowing the rate at which the body absorbs alcohol. However, try not to serve salty foods. They make people thirsty, so they drink more.

Cut off access to the bar one to two hours before the end of the party. Serve non-alcoholic beverages and desserts at that time.

Be careful not to serve alcohol to minors. PIANJ recommends limiting access to the bar if minors are on the guest list.

PIANJ is a trade association representing professional, independent insurance agencies and their employees throughout the state.

PIA New Jersey


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