November 24, 2006, Newsletter Issue #113: Keeping Your Guests Safe

Tip of the Week

Party planning involves more than color scheme, food choices and entertainment decisions. If you are serving alcohol, you must also take responsibility for helping your guests get home safely when they leave your event.

Here are some tips for keeping your guests safe on the way home after they've drank a few too many alcoholic beverages at your party:

Remind your guests to designate a driver for the evening if they plan to drink and make sure you provide a variety of non-alcoholic beverages for those designated drivers at your party. Some restaurants and other party venues may even offer free non-alcoholic drinks for designated drivers.Find out if your area has an organization dedicated to driving inebriated individuals after events and what you would have to do to hire them.Allow guests with no safe way home the option to spend the night at your home if that is where the party was heldBe prepared with the number of your local taxi service so you can call one upon your impaired guest's departureDo not have a party that offers alcohol without any food -- there should be a balance of food and beverages. It's also a good idea to offer coffee.Collect car keys at the beginning of the night so you can be the judge of whether someone gets behind the wheel of a car at the end of the nightIf you fear a guest will argue with you that he or she is OK to drive, invest in a personal alcohol detector so guests can check their alcohol level -- and save themselves from an embarrassing DUI or life-threatening car accidentHire a bus or van that can take guests home (if they are local) or back to a hotel after your event

Party planning includes more than just setting up party decorations and hiring good musicians and caterers. It includes making sure your guests have a way home if they've drank alcohol. Take the time to set up a plan for these individuals, whether it means calling them a taxi, letting them stay overnight or reminding them to designate a driver for the evening.

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