There will be less families gathering around tables this year because of the ongoing pandemic, but that’s no cause to forget about safety. Many Thanksgiving feasts pair alcohol with the plethora of carb-loaded casseroles and fried turkey. If guests are partaking and plan on driving home, it’s important that a host be aware if they are impaired. Generally speaking, a social host in Texas is not liable for the actions of adults who consume alcohol in their home. However, there are special circumstances where a host could be held responsible such as if alcohol was served to a minor and then they caused an automobile accident.
Brad Parker says, “Encourage anyone who has been drinking to take an Uber or cab. Remember to keep an eye on any guests under the age of 21. In the state of Texas, party hosts can be held liable if a minor has been drinking in their home and is involved in an accident following the gathering.”
Here are a handful of other tips hosts can incorporate into their holiday traditions.
Get Out of the House
Hosting your party at a restaurant or bar with a liquor license, rather than at your home, will help minimize liquor liability risks.
Hire a Caterer or Bartender
Not only will this allow you to focus on visiting with guests rather than slaving away in the kitchen, but most bartenders are trained to recognize signs of intoxication and are better able to limit consumption by partygoers.
Choose a Designated Driver
Nominate someone who doesn’t drink regularly who will refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages so that he or she can drive other guests home. If guests drink too much or seem too tired to drive home, you can also call a cab or have them sleep in a spare bedroom or crash on the couch.
Practice What You Preach
As a host, limit your own alcohol intake so that you will be better able to judge your guests’ sobriety.
Offer Non-Alcoholic Options
Eating and drinking plenty of water, or other non-alcoholic beverages, can help counter the effects of alcohol. Also make sure to eat if you are drinking.
Don’t rush to refill guests’ glasses when empty. Allowing time between alcohol servings will ensure guest sobriety. Also, never serve alcohol to guests who are visibly intoxicated. Stop serving liquor toward the end of the evening and switch to coffee or tea.
Because Thanksgiving is one of the biggest travel days of the year and there will be heavier traffic on roadways, travelers need to pay special attention to driving safety.
“The best advice is to drive defensively, in good weather and during daylight hours…and obviously drive sober,” Brad says. Whether you are hosting a small Friendsgiving or gathering for a larger family feast, remember that a good host is a responsible host who should take steps to ensure guests get home safely especially if they have been drinking.