Lancaster – Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman, Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) Chairman Tim Holden, and PLCB Member Michael Newsome today offered tips on safely hosting parties and reminded Pennsylvanians of potential liability if a guest has an alcohol-related incident, even after leaving the party.
“The holiday season is a time for celebrating with family, friends, and coworkers. As people make plans to get together, we strongly encourage them to take common-sense precautions and promote responsible alcohol consumption,” said PLCB Chairman Holden at an event at the Fine Wine & Good Spirits Premium Collection located in the Shoppes at Belmont in Lancaster. “Not only is Fine Wine & Good Spirits your go-to place for wine, spirits, and holiday gifts, but we have also partnered with the Insurance Department to develop a resource offering valuable tips for responsibly hosting safe parties, ensuring everyone gets home safely, and taking steps to avoid liability.”
This week, a two-sided flyer featuring hosting suggestions and helpful links will be placed in customers’ bags at more than 600 Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores throughout Pennsylvania.
“It’s important for party hosts to understand that under Pennsylvania law they can be held legally responsible for guests’ actions even after they leave the party,” Insurance Commissioner Altman explained. “Hosts can be held liable for negligence for the actions of an intoxicated guest, similar to being liable for injuries or property damage someone may suffer if a sidewalk for which the insurance policy holder is responsible is found to have contributed to the injury by being in disrepair, or not cleared of ice and snow.”
The in-store handout and web resources identify several actions hosts can take to avoid potential liability. These include:
• Making sure as a host you stay sober to monitor your guests’ sobriety
• Having a good amount and variety of food on hand throughout the party
• Offering a variety of non-alcoholic beverages
• Stopping alcohol service about an hour before the party ends
• Never serving alcohol to anyone under 21 years of age, which is illegal and carries significant civil and criminal liabilities