The upcoming holidays, Christmas and New Year’s, are understandably times of celebration with family and friends. Many of these celebrations will include alcohol. Here are a number of essential tips for a safe holiday season:
1. If you are hosting a party, whether at your home or business, at which alcohol is served, have a non-drinking designated driver to help your guests get safely home.
2. Let everyone at the party know ahead of time about the availability of the designated driver and be prepared to insist that your imbibing guests use this service.
3. Be aware that you will be civilly and criminally liable for your guests’ actions if they leave your party and cause injury or damage as a result of drinking at your party.
Being sued or prosecuted doesn’t have to happen if you have and use designated drivers for your guests. If you hold an alcohol license and sell alcohol to customers, you, too, will be liable for over-serving patrons in your establishment.
4. Even if you are just going out to dinner, determine ahead of time who will not drink and who will be the designated driver. The designated driver should not be the “least drunk” person in the group. Remember, buzzed driving is drunken driving.
5. Finally, remember that the city of Havre has a social host ordinance which states that it is a violation “for a social host who knows that an underage person has possessed or consumed alcohol or an alcoholic beverage in any amount at a gathering to fail to take reasonable steps to prevent the underage consumption or possession by the underage person” (Havre Code 6-1-20-C).
The Hill County DUI Task Force wants everyone to enjoy a legal and safe Christmas and New Year's season.
Assistant Chief of Police, Havre
Hill County DUI Task Force