If you decide to host a party or just have a few friends over, be safe, be smart, and be responsible.
- Control who you let in. Have a guest list, and politely refuse anyone you don’t know. Avoid public invitations on social media. As a host, you’re responsible for your guests and their behavior — and that can have significant financial and legal implications.
- Call for help if needed. If your party gets out of control, call the police for help. If it’s an emergency, call 911. Remember there is an amnesty policy for those who are underage and are reporting an emergency.
- Be respectful. If the police arrive, don’t turn off the lights and pretend you’re not at home. If you refuse to open the door and cooperate, the police may request a search warrant, the cost of which will likely be passed on to you.
- Have sober monitors. Friends who make the choice to not drink can help lookout for anyone getting intoxicated and speak to the police or neighbors. Make sure you and your friends are comfortable setting limits or cutting someone off. Practice things you can say.
- Understand the consequences. Know your responsibility and obligation as a host around safety and legal consequences.
- Don’t allow open sources of alcohol or premixed and sweetened drinks such as jungle juice. Its alcohol content may vary (you won't be able to regulate how much you've had to drink) and can be masked with high levels of sugar.
- Provide food, water, and other nonalcoholic beverages. Serve food or snacks at activities where alcohol is served; food slows down the body’s absorption of alcohol. Plus, a great party is a party with food.
- Don’t let your guests drink and drive. Even riding a bicycle when impaired is considered a OWI/DUI. As the host, you may also be liable if someone at your party receives a OWI/DUI. Call a taxi to get your guests home safely.
- Be a good neighbor. Notify your neighbors and give them a phone number to call if the noise becomes excessive. Keep in mind, neighbors have no obligation to call you before they call the police.