MADD Canada

MADD Canada

December 18, 2008 09:06 ET

Host tips for parties ‘without incident'

How can a host reduce the risks of an ugly incident like an impaired driving fatality?

Attention: Assignment Editor, Food/Beverage Editor, Lifestyle Editor OAKVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 18, 2008) - Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada) wants Canadians to remember that 'if it's your party, it's your liability.'

How can a host reduce the risks of an ugly incident like an impaired driving fatality? MADD Canada suggests that no single measure will eliminate all the risks. However, with some planning, common sense and basic precautions, a host can dramatically reduce your chances of being sued.

Here are MADD Canada's host tips for parties 'without incident.'


- Do not sponsor, organize, supervise or allow on your property, any inherently dangerous events or activities, such as underaged drinking parties, drinking contests, or all-you-can-drink stags or similar events.
- If there have been previous problems with a particular event, group or person, take steps to avoid a recurrence.
- Consider hiring trained servers and staff to help run large events, such as family weddings or major service club socials.
- Do not combine alcohol and potentially dangerous activities, such as boating, snowmobiling, skiing, or hunting.
- Check your property and guard against potential hazards. Even minor measures, such as locking the gate to the pool, can significantly reduce your risks.
- Have a plan in advance to ensure that guests who become intoxicated can be taken home safely.


- Do not serve, provide or make alcohol available to any person who is or may be under the legal drinking age.
- Do not permit drinking to be the focus of the event.
- Make food and non-alcoholic beverages available. People who have eaten absorb alcohol more slowly than those who have not, thereby lowering their peak level of intoxication.
- If you are providing alcohol, serve drinks rather than having a self-serve bar. A self-serve bar encourages some people to drink excessively. Moreover, if you are serving the drinks, it will be easier to monitor your guest's consumption and behaviour.
- Do not encourage intoxication by serving extra strong drinks, double shots or high alcohol content beer.
- Stop serving alcohol long before you expect the event to break up. It is simply not smart to serve people alcohol just before they drive or otherwise try to get home.


- Refrain from drinking or drink moderately. The more you drink, the more difficult it will be for you to anticipate problems, supervise the event and intervene to avoid potential risks.
- Be attentive to your guests' behaviour and appearance. Be prepared to have a friendly word with a person who is becoming intoxicated.
- Do not provide alcohol to a guest who is or may be intoxicated. Such conduct only increases the risks of a mishap and your chances of being sued.
- If gentle persuasion fails, you may have to verbally insist that an intoxicated guest not attempt to drive home.
- Arrange for a guest who may be intoxicated to be taken home safely or stay the night.

To learn more about your liability when serving or providing alcohol, visit the MADD Canada website ( and read "Your Party - Your Liability".
/For further information:
“Your Party – Your Liability”

Contact Information

  • Margaret Miller, National President
    Primary Phone: 902-758-5328