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Know the Limits: Teen Grad Parties and Social Host Liability
June 7, 2016

Know the Limits: Teen Grad Parties and Social Host Liability

Social Host Liability

To host or not to host? Arranging gatherings for your teens at home can be riddled with questions. However, in the past decade parents face a much more difficult decision, whether or not to include alcohol among the appetizers. This poses a much larger issue at heart with hosting teen parties, what’s your liability?

It’s not always easy assessing the risks prior to the party, but there are a number of factors to consider. For one, knowing the number of attendees, the placement of the gathering and the perimeters of safety on the premise are all vital to the planning process. Minimize the risk of liability exposure with the seven key considerations below:

  1. Have a dry party. This may not be realistic and teens can still sneak in alcohol and drugs, or consume before attending.
  2. If alcohol is permitted, then do not promote excessive drinking, drinking games and do not provide unlimited or unsupervised access to alcohol.
  3. Before the party, check the premises for any hazards.
  4. Set expectations with your teens regarding invite lists.
  5. Be attentive to behaviour and appearance, prepare yourself to have a friendly word or call the police if teens are engaging in dangerous activities.
  6. If there is an attendee or group with a reputation for causing problems, take steps to ensure there is no recurrence.
  7. Ensure you arrange for rides or insist that a teen stay the night, and if need be, plan to take keys and mandate all guests remaining stay in the family room.

These issues and more were part of a recent presentation I made to parents at Vernon District School Board, May 25th. For more on what you need to know about your liability and hosting teen parties read a summary of my presentation HERE.  If you have questions please feel free to Contact Me and I will try to help.

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