Things You Must Know

Managing Risk:

Special event organizers have both a legal and practical duty to ensure their guests drink responsibly.

For large scale events, especially where the general public is admitted you should always prepare a risk management plan.

A properly prepared risk management plan will help identify potential problems.

The key elements of such a plan are:

  • Conducting a thorough safety inspection of your premises.
  • Communicating the risk management plan and the emergency action plan to all staff.
  • Establishing and posting house policies and ensure that everyone knows what they are.
  • Developing an emergency action plan and include a chain of command.
  • Acquiring insurance coverage and any necessary permits.
  • Arranging for safe transportation home for your guests.
  • Ensuring all staff/ volunteers are Smart Serve trained.
  • Having a Smart Serve Incident Reporting Log on hand to record details of all guest incidents.
Reducing Risk:

You can lower your risk by learning how to prevent guests from overindulging at your next event. This includes:

  • Never allowing already intoxicated people into your event
  • Never serving minors, and checking the ID of people you suspect are under 25
  • Discouraging excessive drinking or serving alcohol to anyone you suspect may already be intoxicated
  • Preventing drunken, violent or disorderly conduct at the event
  • Never letting guests drink and drive
  • Never making drinking the focus of your event
  • Serving alcohol only within the allowed hours (Monday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.)
  • Always serving food with alcohol
  • Offering a variety of low-alcohol and alcohol-free drinks at a reasonable price

You may also lessen your risk by hiring a licensed caterer or bartender who has completed Smart Serve training.