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Planning a Party

Are you planning a party? You are responsible for the safety and behaviour of your guests:

  • When they are in your home or on your property
  • At other functions you organize - weddings, street parties, bush parties, etc.
  • Until they are sober

10 Great Tips to Reduce Your Alcohol-Related Risk as a Party Host 1

Check out the following tips to reduce your alcohol-related risk as a party host below.

  1. Don’t plan physical activities, like swimming, skiing, snowmobiling, boating or skating when you serve alcohol.
    Alcohol causes people to have impaired judgement, lack of coordination and reduced inhibitions.  All of these factors increase a guest’s risk of injuring themselves while drinking alcohol.
  2. Have low-alcohol and alcohol-free cocktails and drinks available too.
    Check out these delicious mocktail recipes (PDF 948KB) (alcohol-free cocktails) for some ideas!
  3. Serve snacks.
    It is better to eat while drinking than to drink on an empty stomach. Try veggies, cheeses and light dips – they’re great and don’t make your guests as thirsty, as salty, sweet or greasy foods do.
  4. Be prepared for overnight guests.
    Get those blankets and sleeping bags ready.
  5. Mix drinks yourself instead of having an open bar.
    Guests usually drink more when they serve themselves.  Avoid doubles and drinking games.
  6. Plan to deal with guests who drink too much.
    Ask someone to be prepared to help you before the party gets rolling.
  7. Find out how guests will be going home from your party.
    Be prepared to take away car keys. Know your designated drivers. Have cash and phone numbers ready for taxis.
  8. Stop serving alcohol a few hours before the party is over.
    Bring out more alcohol-free drinks and food.
  9. Plan ahead so that it’s easy to try some of these tips!
    If a legal problem arises, having tried these tips may help.
  10. Don’t drink too much yourself!
    You can stay on top of potential problems better when you can think clearly and act quickly.

Reproduced with permission from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Date of creation: March 1, 2013
Last modified on: February 1, 2023




1Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. (n.d.). Having a party? Great tips to lower your alcohol risks as a host. Retrieved from