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.