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Super Bowl party hosts liable for driving guests

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If you are planning to host a Super Bowl party this weekend, be sure your guests who are driving home haven’t had too much to drink. According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), many states hold party hosts liable for motor vehicle accidents involving their guests who are driving under the influence.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) point to Super Bowl Sunday as one of the most dangerous days on the roadways due to more drivers under the influence of alcohol. The NHTSA says that 51 percent of all traffic fatalities that occurred during the 2004 Super Bowl weekend were due to drunk drivers.

Thirty-five states have enacted laws or have case law that hold social hosts liable if they serve liquor to people who subsequently are involved in crashes that result in injury or death, according to the I.I.I.

The I.I.I. suggests that hosts be responsible by limiting their own alcohol consumption, encourage guests to have designated drivers or call taxis, stop serving liquor one hour before the party ends, provide plenty of food, and do not serve drinks to visibly drunk guests.