New Year’s Holiday Parties and Social Host Alcohol Liability By Tod Aronovitz | 12/26/13 | 0 Comment

If you are planning a New Year’s Eve party, there are some important legal considerations you should know in regard to your potential liability as a host.

New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate the promise of a fresh start with family and friends. Good food, lots of fun, and a steady flow of alcohol are common at most holiday parties.

As a host, however, you could be exposed to legal liability if some of your guests consume too much alcohol and are then in an accident after leaving your party. You may be held responsible in such a situation because you were the event’s host and didn’t recognize the guest’s level of intoxication and allowed them to keep drinking. A judge or jury may consider this as serving alcohol “recklessly.” You can also be held liable if a minor is served alcohol at an event you’re hosting.

In addition to making sure everyone has fun and enough food, smart hosts monitor alcohol consumption to keep their guests safe.

Though laws can vary from state to state, there are steps that you can take to help prevent such a situation from ever occurring when hosting events in which alcohol is served, such as:

  • Never serve alcohol to minors
  • Encourage guests to drink responsibly or use designated drivers
  • Hire a professional bartender to serve drinks and refuse alcohol to those too intoxicated
  • Host a cash bar, which may relieve you of legal responsibility
  • Provide transportation for guests who shouldn’t drive home
  • Take the keys away from those who are intoxicated and let them stay in your home overnight
  • Keep your own alcohol consumption to a minimum so that you can be alert to signs of trouble

In situations where the event is work-related and you are the employer of a guest who is in a DUI accident, the likelihood of being held liable is even greater since it can be considered that the employee had an obligation to attend your event.

This message is a public service of ARONOVITZ LAW.


The Florida trial law firm of ARONOVITZ LAW pursues justice for Florida consumers who have been injured by the wrongful actions or omissions of another individual, government agency, or corporation. We can assist you with civil litigation, consumer class action litigation, whistleblower cases, medical malpractice, product liability, and wrongful death.

Contact Miami trial attorney Tod Aronovitz for a confidential discussion of your case.