Whether planning a small private gathering or a large charity event, party hosts are responsible for making sure the event is not only fun, but safe. The best way to do this is through careful planning. If you are serving alcoholic beverages at your party, here are some tips to keep your guests safe:
Top 10 Ways to Serve Responsibly
- Selling or serving to an underage person is considered one of the most serious ABC violations and is against the law. Don’t allow anyone younger than 21 years of age to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages at your event.
- Put yourself in the mind of a non-drinker. Don't force drinks on your guests or rush to refill their glasses right away. Some guests may accept drinks they don't want in order to avoid appearing rude.
- Always serve food, especially high-protein foods like cheese and meats that stay in the stomach longer, slowing down the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream. Note: Although food causes alcohol to be digested more slowly, it has no effect on the pace alcohol leaves your system.
- Don't mix alcohol with drugs. Both legal and illegal drugs may interact with alcohol. Be careful not to take even aspirin before, during or shortly after drinking.
- Avoid mixing alcohol with carbonated beverages. Carbonation accelerates the effects of alcohol in the body.
- Always have non-alcoholic drinks available for guests, especially juices, water or tea.
- Stop serving alcohol two hours before the party is over, but continue serving non-alcoholic drinks and food. For most people, this two-hour wait will not be enough time to clear all the alcohol from their body. Therefore, be sure to find safe rides home via taxi or designated driver.
- DON'T LET PEOPLE DRINK AND DRIVE. Car pooling and cabs can save lives. It's the responsibility of everyone (especially the host of the party) to stop drinkers from driving. If necessary, take away the car keys and invite guests to spend the night.
- Have jiggers or self-measuring, one-ounce bottle spouts at the bar to measure alcohol for mixed drinks. Guessing the amount of alcohol for drinks can lead to excessive drinking.
- Of critical importance: Be careful who you invite. If you invite good friends who are mature social drinkers, you shouldn't have a problem throwing a safe and fun party. If you invite strangers or people who are not responsible around alcohol, you are opening the door for trouble.
REMEMBER: Friends don't let friends drink and drive!