Understanding Social Host Liability: Your Responsibility as a Party Host

From TiPS…

Understanding Social Host Liability: Your Responsibility as a Party Host

The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 established the minimum drinking age at 21 in the United States, with states implementing laws that prohibit individuals under 21 years of age from purchasing or possessing alcohol in public. However, underage drinking remains a pervasive problem, prompting state legislators to enact Social Host Liability laws that assign responsibility to adults who allow minors to drink alcohol at social gatherings.

This blog will explore the responsibilities and risks associated with hosting events where alcohol is served. Visit the Alaska Hospitality Retailers website for information on TiPs Training. 

Social Host Liability Laws

Under Social Host Liability laws, individuals who knowingly provide or allow the use of alcohol by minors or intoxicated adults can be held liable for resulting property damage, injury, death, or violation fines, regardless of whether a tragedy occurs. The host may or may not be the parent; it could be the youth themselves, a sibling/cousin, a friend, or a friend’s parent. These laws aim to combat underage drinking and its negative consequences, including drunk driving, sexual assault, and other risky behaviors.

Dram Shop Laws

It is important to note that Social Host Liability laws do not apply to licensed establishments such as restaurants, bars, and liquor stores, which are covered by dram shop laws. Dram shop laws hold licensed establishments liable for injuries or damages caused by a patron who was over-served or served while visibly intoxicated. These laws are meant to encourage responsible alcohol service and provide a means for third parties to file suit for injuries and fatalities resulting from a liquor law violation.

Common Negligence Laws

In addition to Social Host Liability and dram shop laws, there are also common negligence laws that address negligent behavior related to alcohol. Negligence is defined as not doing what any reasonable person could be expected to do under a certain set of circumstances. With regard to alcohol, it is assumed that a person serving or selling alcohol can be expected to follow a set of procedures, and if they fail to do so, they have acted negligently.

Administrative Penalties for Non-Compliance

Furthermore, there are administrative penalties for non-compliance with government regulations related to alcohol service and sales. Liquor licenses and server permits are granted by state liquor control boards, and violating the terms of a license or permit can result in fines, suspension, or even revocation of the license or permit. Such penalties can cause significant damage to an establishment’s reputation and image or result in unemployment for the server or seller.

Importance of Alcohol Service Training Programs

As a server or seller of alcohol, it is crucial to be aware of the many layers of liability and responsibility associated with alcohol service. Being certified in a quality alcohol service training program, such as TIPS, can help prevent problems resulting from the misuse of alcohol. TIPS teaches servers and sellers how to recognize signs of intoxication and intervene to prevent alcohol-related tragedies. Additionally, knowing and following local laws and regulations is essential to ensuring safe and responsible alcohol service.

Visit the Alaska Hospitality Retailers website for information on TiPs Training. 

State-Specific Social Host Liability Laws

It is also important to note that Social Host Liability laws vary by state, and some states do not have such laws at all. Therefore, it is crucial to refer participants to check local ordinances or provide website information so they can learn more. Furthermore, sharing the appropriate state laws and regulations at the time of training can help ensure that servers and sellers are aware of their legal responsibilities and liabilities.

Be Safe and Host Responsibly

Responsible alcohol service involves more than just complying with age limits and ID checks. Social Host Liability laws, dram shop laws, negligence laws, and administrative penalties are all important considerations that servers and sellers must be aware of. By being knowledgeable and certified in quality alcohol service training programs, and by following local laws and regulations, servers and sellers can help prevent alcohol-related tragedies and promote responsible alcohol service.

If you are a social host and want to ensure that your events are safe and responsible, consider getting TIPS certified. TIPS provides the knowledge and skills necessary to recognize signs of intoxication, prevent over-service, and avoid liability. With TIPS training, you can help prevent alcohol-related tragedies and protect yourself from legal consequences.

Visit the Alaska Hospitality Retailers website for information on TiPs Training. 

AMCO online licensing – please register

The Alaska Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office is privileged to announce the launching of its new on-line licensing system AK-ACCIS through myAlaska. If you are an existing licensee, your first task is to “claim the business entity” that holds your license. Once we at AMCO have substantiated your claim, you will be able to take action on behalf of your license, such as applying for renewal or a new endorsement.

Please claim your business entity now.

Instructions for claiming  your business are found on AMCO’s website. Contact AMCO at [email protected] or (907) 269-0350 with any questions you might have.

La Oficina de Control de Alcohol y Marijuana de Alaska tiene el privilegio de anunciar el lanzamiento de su nuevo sistema de licencias en línea AK-ACCIS a través de myAlaska. Si usted es dueño/dueña de una licencia, su primera tarea es “reclamar la entidad  de su licencia”. Una vez que AMCO haiga fundamentado su reclamo ósea tenga su información, podrá tomar medidas en nombre de su licencia, ejemplo: como solicitar una renovación o un nueva aprobación. Por favor reclame la entidad de su licencia ahora. Las instrucciones para reclamar su negocio/licencia se encuentran en el website de AMCO. Comuníquese con AMCO en [email protected] o (907) 269-0350 si tiene alguna pregunta.

Certify your staff in alcohol service

There are a few ways you can get your staff certified in alcohol service through Alaska Hospitality Retailers IN-PERSON or ONLINE

In-person training through TIPs (full class) To pre-register or for information: call 646-4628 or email [email protected] – registration is required five (5) days prior to the class. Visit website for class schedule (www.alaskahospitalityretailers.org )

Class begins at 10:30am (sharp) and ends at approximately 6 hours after. Lunch will be for 30-minutes and it will be a working lunch, please bring your lunch. Additional breaks will be provided by the instructor. Price includes textbook, review course and exam, there will be no refunds once you have registered. Students must arrive 10 minutes prior to class. TIPs card less than six months expiration in order to renew your card.

AkHR Members: $45 and Non-Members $55.

  • Renewals – call instructor Danny Parish (907-223-7276) – we can schedule same day testing
  • Private classes available for groups of 5 or more students

Online training through Rserving

  • AKHR Members $18 per student – please read information below

It’s here! We’ve solidified our partnership with Rserving to offer comprehensive, high-quality online alcohol education and compliance training for the hospitality industry.

The discounted member rate is $18 per student.

Because of the extra features and discounted prices, this online-based training is only being offered to members in good standing.

If you are a paid member, please email [email protected] with your business name and request your confidential password. That password will give you access to the Member Training page.

When you renew your membership at the beginning of each year, you will receive a new password to access this password-protected section of our website.

We’re excited to continue to add to the many benefits of AKHR membership. Thank you for being a part of AKHR!

Industry News: ServSafe Newsletter

“What goes into a food safety culture? Food safety needs to account for both the “how’s” and the “why’s” of what you do.” Watch the video from Servsafe.






Members-Only Training with Discounts

It’s here! We’ve solidified out partnership with RServing to offer comprehensive, high-quality online alcohol education and compliance training for the hospitality industry.

Because of the extra features and discounted prices, this online-based training is only being offered to our paid members. If you are a paid member, you will receive a confidential password that you can use during the term of your AKHR membership. That password will give you access to the Member Training page.

When you renew your membership at the beginning of each year, you will receive a new password to access this password-protected section of our website.

We’re excited to continue to add to the many benefits of AKHR membership. Thank you for being a part of AKHR!

Restaurant Industry Update [National Restaurant Association]

The National Restaurant Association newsletter is out and full of useful articles worth reading. Here are just a few:

Pups on patios: 8 tips to safely cater to canine companions

The question of whether pet dogs are legally permissible in an outdoor dining area comes down to state and local laws and regs. More than 20 states and numerous local governments have laws permitting dogs and for the first time, the FDA Food Code provides guidance on the topic. Read the article.

Changes to 2022 Food Code make donations easier

Operators who plan to donate food from their restaurants can follow these 4 tips from Association partner Food Donation Connection and our Association’s VP of Food Science and Safety. Get the tips that cover temperature control, packaging, and labeling. Learn more.

Menu labeling regulations are coming back

On May 11, the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration expires and with it the suspension of menu-labeling enforcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Operators will have until Nov. 7, 2023, to meet labeling requirements. Find out what you need to do.

Read the rest of this month’s National Restaurant Association newsletter.

How to Tell if Someone is Intoxicated: 5 Signs of Intoxication

How to Recognize an Intoxicated Person

Everyone who drinks runs the danger of consuming alcohol excessively. Unfortunately, some people don’t know how to manage their alcohol intake. This changes a person’s behavior and makes it difficult to manage their actions. It can therefore increase the risk of an awful and unexpected outcome.

So how can you tell if a person is showing signs of intoxication? The person will exhibit symptoms of drunkenness in their behavior, coordination, and appearance. The following are examples of the behavioral cues a person may display:

1. Becoming talkative or loud indicates lowered inhibitions

2. Using foul language or misbehaving, indicating impaired judgment

3. Moving very slowly or unfocused eyes displaying slowed reactions

4. Stumbling or swaying indicates a loss of coordination

The list does not include many intoxication rate factors, which we shall discuss later.


January 2023 Employment Update – AEDC

Here is the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation (AEDC)’s January 2023 Employment Update. Click here to read or download the full report.

Across all sectors, Anchorage increased employment by about 4,800 over January 2022, but saw employment decrease by about 2,500 from December 2022.

ServSafe Food Allergen Posters

Did you know that more than 32 million people currently experience food allergies in the U.S? That’s 32 million people who could potentially experience an allergic reaction while dining at your restaurant.
SOURCE: AAFA. (2022, April). Allergy Facts and Figures.

Download these ServSafe National Restaurant Association posters. You can download the posters by clicking the images or links below.

Download The Big 9

Download Infographic

Restaurant Hunger Relief Program Selection Announced

Here are the selected businesses for the current Restaurant Hunger Relief Program, announced today:
AK Alchemist
Anchorage re:MADE
Gumbo House
Jalapeños Mexican Restaurant
Las Margaritas Restaurant
Mr. Darryl’s Southern BBQ
Muffin Man – Cafe 817
Oriental Garden
Subway of Alaska
Subway of Girdwood
Tent City Taphouse
The Broken Blender
The Little Miss Cafe
Waffles and Whatnot