PKSD Newsletter: Protecting You and Your Party Guests During the Holidays
Thanksgiving weekend 2021 is sure to be full of parties, good food and drinking. After the impact the pandemic had on last year’s holiday season, friends and family are ready to enjoy celebrating in person with loved ones. However, with heavier holiday traffic and the risk of more drunk drivers, how can you protect party guests and yourself over the long weekend?
At PKSD, we are pleased to send out good vibes and well wishes to everyone this holiday season. However, we do also have some information we would like to share to help keep everyone safer while celebrating.
Thanksgiving Competes as Deadliest Holiday
Along with Independence Day, Thanksgiving is reportedly one of the deadliest holidays of the year on U.S. roadways. There are always increased alcohol sales leading up to the holiday festivities, which tragically often means more fatal car crashes. This year, the National Safety Council has announced they are forecasting 485 deaths from car crashes during the Thanksgiving weekend.
What to Know if You Are Hosting
Many people planning to host a Thanksgiving party may be concerned about whether to serve alcohol to guests, especially if they are planning to drive home afterwards. While these concerns are valid, there are some reasonable steps you can take to help ensure the safety of your party guests.
If you do serve alcohol beyond “having a toast” to celebrate, take steps to help ensure your guests are sober when they leave the party by:
- Setting limits: For instance, you could stop serving alcohol a couple of hours before guests are set to leave. Serve plenty of water as well throughout the event to help keep guests hydrated.
- Hiring a bartender that you trust: Find someone who is reliable and who will also not serve any alcohol to underage guests. If the age of some guests is unknown, it is better to ask for ID to be on the safe side.
- Keeping an eye on your guests: Watch out for anyone who seems to be visibly intoxicated. Do not let them leave in that condition, even if it means taking their keys and letting them crash at your place for the night. Alternatively, see if you can arrange for a rideshare service or sober guest/designated driver to get them home.
If you find these tips to be helpful, read this month’s PKSD Newsletter for more information on how you can help protect your holiday party guests and yourself.
Can a Host Be Held Liable for Intoxicated Guests?
That depends. The issue is whether a host could be liable if they served alcohol to a guest who was visibly intoxicated and that guest then left the party and drove while under the influence. If that decision led to a crash that caused harm to others, then liability may become an issue.
There are also various dram shop laws that apply in many states that may result in a host being liable if:
- The guest was an underage minor, and the host did not check or knowingly served that underage person alcohol anyway
- The host did not take reasonable measures to prevent harm to others, such as by asking to see an ID, refusing to serve an underage person alcohol or cutting off alcohol to someone who was already visibly intoxicated
- The guest left your party and drove while intoxicated, which led to a crash and subsequent injuries to others
Taking proactive measures to make sure no one leaves your party while intoxicated helps you to protect your party guests, keep others safer on the road and protects your own interests as well.
At PKSD, Our Attorneys Are Ready to Discuss Your Rights
Even when taking precautions, accidents can sometimes happen. At PKSD, if you are involved in a crash caused by a negligent or drunk driver, we are prepared to help.
Our car crash attorneys in Milwaukee have been helping injured victims for decades, recovering millions in compensation on their behalf.
Take advantage of our free initial consultation to discuss your situation with one of our compassionate and qualified attorneys. There are no upfront costs if we find you have a claim and you choose to hire our firm. We only get paid if we win your case.
For more newsletters, check out and subscribe to, “You Should Know,” PKSD’s monthly newsletter keeping you informed about issues that could affect your health, safety and legal rights.
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