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New Year's Eve Party-Hosting Tips: From Cocktails to Car Thefts

By Brett Snider, Esq. on December 30, 2014 8:19 AM

New Year's Eve approaches, and that means party planning, drunken coupling, and counting down to the new year.

No one should assume that their New Year's Eve party will become a giant liability in the new year, but it wouldn't hurt to take a few precautions.

Check out these helpful end-of-the-year party hints:

1. Choose Party Snacks Carefully.

You may have an extensive menu of hors d'oeuvres planned for your NYE fete, but you should probably take some time to avoid dangerous foods. Items that may be perfectly safe when served immediately may dip into the danger zone if they are left out too long (deviled eggs, anything with mayo, ceviche, etc.). And keep in mind, you don't have to be a restaurant to be sued for food poisoning.

2. Consider a Non-Alcoholic Punch.

New Year's Eve parties often have a big bowl of something like punch. While many may opt to spike their punches with rum or brandy, you might want to abstain. Not only might social host liability apply if someone does something drunk and stupid after leaving your party, but it may also pay off just to keep the mood a bit more sober.

3. Beware of Car Theft.

Since partiers often leave their cars at New Year's Eve parties, it isn't surprising that New Year's Day is the top holiday for car thefts. Park your car in a well-lit area, take your valuables with you, and tell your party guests to do the same.

4. Restrict/Safety-Proof Dangerous Areas.

Inviting party guests (drunk or sober) into your home may require making them aware or keeping them out of certain areas. For example, if you have a small elevated step before your entryway, you may want to mark it with brightly colored tape. If your garage/basement/attic is dark and full of sharp tools and fragile items, make sure the door is locked and the area is off-limits to partygoers. Remove any ice or snow from your walkway, and so on. Thinking of your guests like fumbling, stumbling babies may help you avoid slip-and-fall injuries.

5. Party Insurance.

Yes, party insurance is a thing, and you can even customize your policy based on the size and circumstances of your New Year's Eve party.

We hope these tips help your party go off without a hitch. From all of us at FindLaw, have a safe and Happy New Year!

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