How to host safe parties this holiday season

Local News

The month of December is here, which means a lot of folks are planning to throw some holiday parties for their friends and families.

But officials are warning if you serve alcohol at that party, you could be held responsible for what happens next.

Matt Heckel reported.

“Holidays are when a lot of people host parties,” said Jessica Altman. “A lot of those parties have alcohol served.”

And Altman, Pennsylvania’s Insurance Commissioner warns party hosts that if a guest has an alcohol-related incident even after leaving the party, you could still be held liable.

“If someone is over served at your party, you’re responsible for that service of alcohol and what comes next from that,” said Altman.

That includes alcohol-related property damage, injuries, or even deaths.

“As people make plans to get together, we strongly encourage them to take a common sense precautions and promote responsible alcohol consumption,” said Tim Holden, Chairman, Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

Which is why the Liquor Control Board and Insurance Department have come up with a flyer to be put in the shopping bags of about 750,000 Fine Wine and Good Spirit store customers throughout the state. It lists actions hosts can take to avoid liability, like offering non-alcoholic beverages, stopping alcohol service about an hour before the party ends and never serving to anyone under 21.

“About 20 percent of parents think it’s okay to let kids try alcohol on a special occasions, like on a holiday. But, it is not okay. It is illegal,” said Michael Newsome, a member of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

The flyer also lists things a host can do if a guest does have too much to drink like arranging to have designated drivers on hand or offering for a guest to stay the night.

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