8 tips from Erie Insurance for a safe and fun New Year's Eve:
1. Consider your liquor liability. If serving alcohol, make sure nobody gets behind the wheel of a car. In many states, hosts could be held liable for damage caused by a driver who leaves their party.
2. Designate a driver. Encourage your guests to choose a designated driver before they arrive, or to use a ridesharing service. Advanced planning will ensure a safer ride home for all of your guests.
3. Don't leave your car overnight. If you're not driving home, it's probably wise to leave your car in the driveway – and don't forget to lock the doors. Unfortunately, criminals don't take a holiday.
4. Serve plenty of food. A good selection of food and non-alcoholic beverages will help counter the effects of alcohol.
5. Plan your activities. To keep your party running smoothly, have a list of games or activities that don't involve alcohol. Playing games can be a great way to break the ice and can be enjoyed by guests of all ages.
6. Shelve the fireworks. Avoid the temptation to start the new year off with a "bang." Fireworks can lead to house fires and injuries – and they never mix well with alcohol.
7. Charge your phone. Before you head out for a night on the town, make sure your phone is fully charged. Getting stuck with a dead battery will make it difficult to reconnect with friends or order a ride home, if needed.
8. Keep your guest list tight. When hosting a party in your home, it's always a good idea to limit guests to people you know well. Strangers may be less likely to respect your property, and it will be more difficult to confront them if they overindulge.
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day see more drunk driving arrests and accidents than nearly any other day of the year, making it one of the most dangerous times to be on the road.
In 2015, more than 42% of all traffic accidents on New Year’s Eve involved a drunk driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And according to AAA, more pedestrians are killed on New Year’s Day than any other day of the year.
For New Year’s Eve party hosts, liability should be a major concern. In most states, if a guest is involved in causing an alcohol-related accident after leaving the property, hosts and property owners are deemed liable for serving or overserving alcohol to the impaired driver.
In those states, any individual injured by a drunk driver is granted the right to sue the host of the party who served the alcohol. In the worst cases, criminal charges may even apply.
To protect property owners, Erie Insurance outlines 8 safety tips for hosts to ensure a fun and safe New Year’s Eve, outlined in the slideshow above.