In Texas, the host of a party can incur severe liabilities in the event that a guest gets intoxicated and then, heaven forbid, injures themselves or someone else because they got behind the wheel. Make sure you take precautions to prevent drinking and driving incidents.
A couple of simple ways you can avoid these liabilities are:
- Outsource the serving of alcohol. It’s a great idea to hire a bartender or catering company, who has undergone TABC training. Not only can this help limit the amount served, but the bartenders are trained to spot if someone is intoxicated and take appropriate measures. Make sure they carry general liability and liquor liability coverage. It’s a good idea to have them name you as an additional insured on these policies. (Some policies will allow this, but this is not always an option).
- Designated drivers made easy! Remind guests to use a designated driver in the invitation and as they are leaving the party. There are services such as Zingo who will have a driver ride out to you on a foldable motor scooter and then drive you home in your own car. Rates for this are $20 plus a couple bucks for additional miles. You can call them 30 minutes before you’re ready to go at 877-OK ZINGO. That’s 877-659-4646 (OK, I translated this because it took me about a 45 seconds to decipher and dial the number at 10am this morning because I got the “O” and the zero confused so dialed the wrong number… I then had visions of some exuberant partygoer fumbling with the numbers trying to spell ZINGO on their blackberry in the middle of the night…)
- Don’t over-serve your guests and don’t let someone drive who is visibly intoxicated. You don’t have to be a party Nazi to make this happen, just pay attention and if someone is over their limit call them a cab or find them a designated driver.
- Insurance is a last resort! Insurance (risk transfer) and is not a substitute for trying to prevent, avoid and reduce any risks… especially this one. Even though most General Liability policies for businesses and most homeowners policies do provide some “host” liquor liability coverage” it is often limited and in the case of a homeowners policies the limits are typically way too low. This is not a road you want to go down so take some simple steps to avoid and prevent these risks!
With a little bit of forethought and awareness, we can all help prevent some potentially disastrous things from happening. Please pass this on to two friends as a reminder to be safe this holiday season and subscribe to this blog for more tips and ideas on how to protect your family and business. If you have questions feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to Austin Insurance.