Tips for Helping Event Attendees Avoid a DUI

Drunk Driving Attorney 

Tips for Helping Event Attendees Avoid a DUIPlanning a big event with a large number of attendees requires significant planning. Many details must be attended to and a proactive approach to reducing the risks of things possibly going wrong can pay significant dividends. You may already have a list of to-do items, but have you considered how to help your event attendees avoid a DUI on the way home? This may not be something you’ve thought about but the sad fact is that many people are affected every day by drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

According to the non-profit organization Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, every two minutes somebody is injured in a drunk driving accident. And every 51 minutes, someone dies in an accident caused by a DUI motorist. In fact, drunk driving is the number one cause of fatalities on America’s roads, as a drunk driving attorney in Bloomington, IL knows only too well.

Many types of events, conferences, or other types of gatherings include the opportunity for guests to consume alcohol, even work events often have a bar, or open bar. Inevitably, one or more persons drinks beyond what the law considers a legal amount of alcohol when measured in the bloodstream. As the event organizer, even if your group has rented a private event center for the occasion, you may be held partially or wholly responsible for the drunk driver’s consumption of alcohol. Here are just a few common scenarios to illustrate this point:

  • Whether or not you as the organizer was aware, if the punch bowl was spiked with alcohol, guests might not realize they are consuming alcohol. Those who do not drink, have a low tolerance for alcohol, or who are taking certain medications can experience an adverse reaction. The effect of the alcohol may be magnified by many times what the person could handle under other circumstances. For example, one glass of punch that contains what might be considered a relatively small amount of alcohol to most people could easily put someone else over the legal limit.
  • An open bar may encourage event attendees to drink beyond their limit simply because the alcohol is free.
  • Individuals who feel awkward or shy may imbibe in alcohol as a way to “loosen up” as a coping mechanism. As the event goes on, that person may continue to drink and be unfit to drive a vehicle.

Tips for Minimizing the Risk of an Attendee DUI

As the event organizer, you have the legal and moral obligation to make every reasonable effort to diligently prevent someone from leaving your event while under the influence and subsequently getting behind the wheel. Though some things may be out of your control (such as an attendee stopping at a bar after the event and getting drunk) there are many things that you can do. Here are some suggestions:

  • Consider not offering alcohol. If you wish to do so despite the risks, consider imposing a hard limit of one or two drinks for every attendee. (They can receive a small hand stamp after every drink purchased.
  • If anyone appears to be even slightly inebriated, arrange for a taxi for them or a designated driver to safely get them home. (It may be a worthwhile investment to foot the bill for the taxi.)
  • Reward attendees who volunteer to be designated drivers. You can provide them free non-alcoholic drinks, offer prizes to those individuals, or otherwise encourage folks to step forward and take that role.

Avoiding driving while under the influence is the best defense in advance of possibly being charged with a DUI.

Thanks to Pioletti, Pioletti & Nichols for their insight into criminal law and tips for avoiding a DUI.