When the South Carolina Gamecocks or the Carolina Panthers are playing, you may want to invite friends and family to your place to enjoy the football game with you. If you do invite guests over, you need to be aware many people drink when they watch football games. If you provide alcohol for guests, you could be increasing the risk of car accidents if your guests do not behave responsibly and if they drive home drunk.
As a good host and a responsible host, you should do everything you can to try to prevent people from leaving your house and causing drunk driving crashes.
How to Prevent Drunk Driving Crashes After Your Football Party
If you have anyone under age 21 at your football party, it is imperative you do not serve them alcohol. Not only is it dangerous, but you could also face criminal liability and the potential for a civil lawsuit if you let a minor drink.
South Carolina Code Sections 61-4-90 and 61-6-4070 address legal liability for "social hosts." A penalty of $200 for a first offense is imposed when you provide a minor under 21 with alcohol in your home, but penalties get more severe for repeat offenses. The financial loss could also be much greater if you are sued because a teen who drinks at your home causes a car accident.
Social host laws do not apply to giving alcohol to adults, but you still should be careful about how much your adult guests drink since you don't want to put them or others at risk.
You should provide only the amount of alcohol you are comfortable offering to guests. Research shows 45 percent of spectators who watch football games will consume at least three drinks over the course of the game. It is up to if you want to provide that much alcohol or if you wish to have a small supply of drinks available but not enough for people to get intoxicated. You may also want to think about limiting the alcohol you serve to beer only, rather than liquor which could cause people to get drunk faster.
If you want to provide your guests with a lot of alcoholic beverages, you can still do so responsibly. Make sure your guests have a designated driver who is going to be taking them home, and do not ever allow anyone to leave your house and get behind the wheel drunk. If necessary, contact a taxi cab or car service to take them home, or drive them home yourself if you have not had too much to drink.
If you are a responsible host at your football party, your guests will not contribute to the increased risk of drunk driving car accidents which can occur when many football fans all drink on game days.