Safe Party Strategies

When you host an event, there are four tips for reducing the potential for personal harm and legal liability:

1. Follow the law

  • The legal age to drink is 21 years or older.  Allowing underage consumption at your events increases the likelihood of problems, including legal liability for the behavior of guests.
  • Make sure you understand all other local and state laws concerning the sale, distribution, possession and consumption of alcohol.
  • Understand and follow policies regarding hosting events with alcohol on campus.
  • Know local laws and ordinances with regard to noise and trash.
  • Do not allow illegal drugs or the misuse of prescription medications. Discourage your guests from mixing alcohol and other drugs.

2. Know your guests

  • Most students report that issues such as vandalism, violence, and theft are perpetrated by uninvited guests.
  • Create a guest list, send specific invitations, and monitor the access to the event.
  • Having someone at the door, someone to check IDs or a guest list can help identify underage and unwanted guests.
  • Encourage guests to walk or have a designated driver to get home safely

3. Don’t provide the alcohol

  • You can be held responsible if you provide alcohol to a guest and they leave your event and hurt themselves or hurt someone else.
  • Avoid providing kegs, party juice (PJ), and large open coolers.
  • BYOB at all times, and set limits on quantity of alcohol your guests can bring.
  • Do not sell alcohol or “charge admission”.  This includes selling cups or other containers to use for a common container like a keg. It is against the law to sell alcohol in North Carolina without an ABC permit.

4. Make the event about something other than alcohol

  • The less the event revolves around alcohol, the less likely your guests are to focus solely on drinking.
  • Discourage drinking games, as these only enhance the speed and quantity of consumption, leading to increased risk.
  • Post party rules on the Facebook event, on the front door or in another visible place.
  • Keep music at a reasonable level so people can communicate verbally.
  • Have seating available for conversation.
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