Alcohol is an important part of many celebrations, but it can also contribute to accidents, injuries and death. The potential liability for damages resulting from the consumption of alcohol has expanded over time to include the entities serving alcohol.

If your council hosts an event at which beer, wine or spirits are served, you could be at risk of a lawsuit. Reduce your council’s risk of facing a lawsuit by following these tips.

Managing Host Liquor Liability Risks Before the Event

  • Develop your own internal policy on responsible alcohol serving.
  • Check state, county and local laws.
  • Reach out to local police, your insurance agent or a qualified attorney with questions.
  • Review any past incidents to identify what went wrong and make changes.
  • Create a policy that helps incentivize using designated drivers.
  • Make members understand the importance of enforcing the policy.
  • Do your due diligence when working with catering vendors and contractors.
  • Ask caterers about their written policies, training records and liquor liability insurance.
  • Have vendors add your council to their policy as an additional insured for the event.

Managing Host Liquor Liability Risks During the Event

  • Consider serving foods high in protein and fat to slow bloodstream absorption of alcohol.
  • Discuss plans of how to respond if a guest has too much to drink.
  • Share alcohol service policies and designated driver options with attendees.
  • Be prepared to take the proper actions in the event of an alcohol-related incident.

Managing Host Liquor Liability Risks After the Event

  • Write a report on all incidents involving alcohol right away while details are fresh.
  • Include the date and time, description of events, and the names of the individuals involved, event manager and witnesses in your incident reports.

By taking the right steps to minimize the host liquor liability risk at your council events, you can reduce the likelihood of an alcohol-related incident that leads to costly legal battles and damaged reputations. For more information, be sure to consult with a qualified legal professional.

To protect your council while serving alcohol, consider adding Host Liquor insurance from Lockton Affinity’s Council Insurance Program to cover the costs associated with incidents of bodily injury or property damage from serving alcoholic beverages.