As May wraps to a close and seniors say goodbye to their alma maters, it can seem like one sort of event explodes into an uproar even before the last of the scholar caps fall back to earth: graduation parties. This season of celebration ushers in tons of festivities for loved ones to gather and give congratulations. As is the case with most parties there is the likelihood for alcohol’s presence, and when alcohol is present there is the chance for booze-induced accidents (like drunk driving) that the host could potentially be held liable for. This holds doubly true for any event where minors get their hands on liquor at the party.
Drunk driving can cause you grief, even if you aren’t behind the wheel
Of course, as a responsible host you will not serve alcohol to minors, and tell your child much the same. Be sure your children are informed of the negative affects of underage drinking: their decision-making skills are inhibited and they may make unwise choices regarding sex, fighting, and drunk driving. Plus, after all, insurance will generally not defend or provide liability coverage for illegal acts like serving alcoholic beverages to minors or any drunk driving accidents that may follow.
Still, hosting is busy work and one cannot be expected to have their eyes everywhere when their attention is pulled in so many directions. What happens if children sneak in their own drinks or arrive intoxicated? They become the host’s responsibility, because if they send the person away they will be held liable for any consequences stemming from their drunk driving. Even if you’re not home and your child throws a party in your absence, you could be held liable for any illegal activities on your property—like once again with drunk driving.
If you often enjoy hosting parties in your home—like the graduation party that is in season now—consider adding umbrella coverage to your home insurance for extra liability coverage to cover you from dangerous incidents like drunk driving. As always, problems are best solved preemptively (especially drunk driving incidents), so be a smart decision maker and make sure your guests are too.