How to reduce alcohol-related risks while entertaining

Along with carefully planning your event and getting organized, use these suggestions to:

  • help you reduce the risks of alcohol-related problems when you entertain; and
  • ensure your guests arrive home safely.

Responsible hosting tips:

  • Never make drinking the focus of your event. Be sure to offer your guests alcohol-free alternatives such as a mocktail, pop, juice, water or coffee.
  • Do not plan sports or physical activities when you serve liquor. People are generally more prone to injury or mishap after drinking.
  • Serve plenty of high-starch, high-protein foods so no one drinks on an empty stomach. Salty, sweet and greasy snack foods increase thirst.
  • Serve measured drinks or appoint a bartender – guests tend to drink more when there's an open bar.
  • If you serve punch with alcohol, use a non-carbonated base, such as fruit juice. The body absorbs alcohol faster when mixed with carbonation.
  • Stop serving alcohol at least an hour before the party ends. Offer guests desserts, coffee and other alcohol-free drinks.
  • Make a plan to deal with any guests that drink too much. Ask someone responsible to help you track the situation.
  • Drink moderately yourself, so you’re better able to avoid problems.
  • Find out how guests will be getting home from your party. Be prepared to ask for car keys and have cash and taxi numbers handy.
  • Do whatever it takes to keep anyone who has been drinking from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Be prepared for overnight guests – just in case!