Don’t Let The Air Out Of Your Super Bowl Party; Serve Alcohol Responsibly When Watching The Big Game

Under State Social Liability Laws, Host Could Be Responsible For Guests Who Drink and Drive; Owners, Renters Encouraged to Review Their Insurance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE New York Press Office: (212) 346-5500;

NEW YORK, January 28, 2015 — Few things deflate a Super Bowl party like an intoxicated guest. That’s why hosts on Super Sunday should have more than a passing interest in making sure that partiers get home safely, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).


Millions of Americans will gather at house parties on Sunday, February 1, to watch the Seattle Seahawks defend their title against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. “Party hosts who serve alcohol must make sure their guests are either capable of driving safely, or able to get a ride from a sober driver,” said Michael Barry, vice president with the I.I.I. “Nearly 40 states have social host liability laws that can make hosts financially responsible, if one of their guests is in an accident after leaving the event.”


In 39 states, social hosts who serve alcoholic beverages can be held liable for an injury or death caused by a guest who is subsequently involved in an alcohol-related auto accident. Such social host liability laws and judicial rulings extend to commercial alcohol servers, as well.


If you are planning to host a Super Bowl party at your home, the I.I.I. suggests the following:


  • Make sure you understand your state laws. Familiarize yourself with your state’s social host liability laws.
  • Speak with an insurance professional about your homeowners coverage. Homeowners insurance usually provides some liquor liability coverage, but it is typically limited to $100,000 or $300,000—which might not be enough.
  • Hire a professional bartender. Most bartenders are trained to recognize signs of intoxication and are better able to limit consumption by partygoers. 
  • Encourage guests to pick a designated driver who will refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages in order to be able to drive other guests home. 
  • Be a responsible host. Limit your own alcohol intake so that you will be better able to judge your guests’ sobriety. 
  • Offer non-alcoholic beverages and always serve food. Eating and drinking plenty of water, or other non-alcoholic beverages, can help counter the effects of alcohol.
  • Do not pressure guests to drink or rush to refill their glasses when empty. And never serve alcohol to guests who are visibly intoxicated. 
  • Stop serving liquor toward the end of the evening. Switch to coffee, tea and soft drinks. 
  • If guests drink too much or seem too tired to drive, call a cab, arrange a ride with a sober guest or have them sleep at your home. 
  • Encourage all your guests to wear seatbelts. Studies show that seatbelts save lives. 


The I.I.I. has a full library of educational videos on its You Tube Channel. Information about I.I.I. mobile apps can be found here.




Insurance Information Institute, 110 William Street, New York, NY 10038; (212) 346-5500;


Back to top