Hosting a Responsible Party
Everyone likes to have a good time. But in addition to being a fun host you also have a responsibility to be a good citizen and mature host. Use these tips to help ensure your party is fun AND safe.
If Serving Alcohol
- Remember that you can be held legally responsible for your underage guests’ behavior after they leave your party.
- You are also responsible for not serving underage students. Not carding or having a “No Under-21” sign at your party does NOT absolve you of this responsibility. And you could be charged by police.
- Collecting money at your party to help cover alcohol costs (selling cups, taking donations, selling beer, etc.) is ILLEGAL.
Before the party
- Have a guest list. Limit your party to those you know to prevent unwanted behavior and problems.
- Discuss ending time with roommates. Decide who will end the party.
- Appoint a sober monitor. The monitor’s job is to turn away uninvited guests, help enforce house rules, talk with the police if they show up, and watch for drunk drivers.
- Educate yourself about local ordinances for noise, mass gatherings, and alcohol.
- Lock valuables away.
- Notify your neighbors before the day of the party.
- Discuss which food and non-alcoholic drinks you will be serving.
During the party
- Check IDs. Ensure those drinking are legal drinking age. Not carding does NOT release you from legal responsibilities!
- Monitor your guests’ alcohol consumption. Plan how you will intervene to slow down a guest who is drinking too much.
- Call 911 immediately in a case of an emergency.
- Monitor noise levels, parking, trespassing, littering, public urination, and other possible violations to avoid having police called.
- If police arrive, make sure the monitor is the first person the officer sees.
- Allow officers to do their job without interference. Follow all police instructions.
Ending the party
- Tell the monitor to stay by the door to turn away new guests.
- Turn on the lights.
- Change the music or turn it off.
- Stop serving alcohol. Serve only soda, water, or coffee.
- Make sure intoxicated guests are not driving. Call a taxi, or have guests sleep over.
- Encourage guests to leave in small groups of three to four. This will help prevent excessive noise.
After the party
- Make sure your yard and your neighbors’ yards are free from trash, cups, and bottles.
- Talk with your neighbors to see if they experienced any problems from the party. If so, discuss calmly to see how you can resolve the situation.
- End the party and ensure guests get home safely.
As a party host, you are responsible for your guests’ health. Here are sign that indicate alcohol poisoning, which, if untreated, can lead to death:
- Cold, bluish, clammy skin
- Unresponsive (you can’t wake them up)
- Shallow and/or irregular breathing
- “Snoring” sounds
- Other danger signs
- Mixing alcohol with medications or drugs
- Collapsing after drinking
- Vomiting and choking
What to do - Call 911 immediately! Do not give the person food or water or your guest may choke.