Are You the Host with the Most? Responsible Party Hosting Tips


Posted on Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Holiday Season is here and the spirit of celebration is everywhere. Whether you are a guest at a party or hosting one, consider the following recommendations for celebrating responsibly and ensuring you head into the New Year healthy and happy!

Are you planning to host a party and serve alcohol? Be aware that you may be held responsible for your guests’ actions if you serve people past the point of intoxication, even after they leave your property. Here’s some tips to include in your celebration plans:

• Keep a clear head – as the host, don’t drink too much so you can be aware of potential problems and think clearly on how to respond.

• Think ahead – have a plan for dealing with guests who drink too much. Be prepared to take away car keys and put people up for the night if necessary.

• Get people home safely – ask guests who the designated driver is as they arrive and have cash and taxi or ride program numbers on hand.

• Measure up – serve standard drinks, not doubles or shots. This means 12oz/341 ml beer and coolers, or 5oz/142ml glass of wine, or 1.5oz/43 ml of spirits. Consider hiring a responsible-service-trainer bartender for larger events

• Chow Down – be sure to provide enough food as it slows the rate of consumption and absorption of alcohol.

• Offer non-alcoholic options – always provide an alternative to alcohol, including water. This ensures the designated drivers feel included in the festivities and guests can alternate between these options and alcohol to slow the rate of consumption. Visit for tasty and festive “mocktail” recipes

• Respect that “no” means no – never push drinks on anyone. Hospitality is not about how many drinks you pour. Respect your guest’s choices and offer alternatives.

• Know when enough is enough – take your time before offering refills when someone empties their glass. This helps you keep track of how much people are drinking.

• Set out the tables – when there are tables and surfaces for guests to put their drink down they tend to drink at a slower pace.

• Say no to drinking games – this promotes excessive drinking over a short period of time and increases risk of potentially fatal alcohol poisoning. Plan fun, engaging activities where alcohol is not the focus.

• Plan the last call – stop serving alcohol an hour before the party is ending and offer food and non-alcohol beverages.

The Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse advises no more than 10 drinks a week, with no more than two drinks a day most days for women and no more than 15 drinks a week for men, with no more than three drinks a day most days for men. Following these guidelines promotes a culture of moderation, supports healthy lifestyles, and ensures safe celebrations throughout the Holiday Season!

For more information - and to pick up your free Mocktails recipe booklet - contact or visit the Health Promotion office at Dundonald Hall, 613-687-5511 x4685.