The Oscars are a great excuse to get your friends together and throw a fabulous party. But social hosts will want to take a few precautions to avoid potential legal drama.
We know you're probably busy with party preps, so here are nine legal tips to make sure your Oscars party doesn't involve any unexpected legal plot twists.
And the "Best Legal Tips for an Oscars Party" are...:
- Make sure your Oscars pool is lawful. You should be in the clear if your state allows social gambling. When it comes to Oscars pools at work, you may still want to double-check with your employee handbook or HR department to make sure it won't get you fired.
- Is that apple cider or champagne, young lady? Teens love the glamour of the Academy Awards as much as adults, and may want to sip their beverages out of classy glass flutes like the stars. However, make sure they're drinking apple cider, not champagne, because if the teens or their friends get drunk, parents can potentially pay the price.
- Keep the adults in check, too. Many states hold social hosts who serve alcohol responsible for the drunken actions of their guests, regardless of whether or not the guests are old enough to drink. No one likes babysitting grownups, but perhaps hand your friends water instead of vodka if they're getting rowdy.
- Consider confiscating the keys. And speaking of keeping adults in check, if you have a feeling some guests may have a problem controlling their booze, here's a party tip: Collect their car keys as they come in and call cabs at the end of the night. This could help them avoid a DUI.
- Provide a hazard-free environment. When hosting an Oscars party, be sure to survey the premises for blatant hazards that could hurt guests, because homeowners can be held responsible for injuries that occur on their property.
- Be prepared for party crashers. Uninvited guests are so not chic. If they show up and refuse to leave, try to avoid a physical confrontation. You may even want to call the cops to get the trespasser removed from your property.
- Practice safe food-handling techniques. If you aren't careful when preparing appetizers for your guests and one of them gets food poisoning, a personal injury lawsuit could potentially be served on you.
- Avoid tagging your friends in embarrassing photos. Even if your friend is only mimicking the drug bender scenes in "The Wolf of Wall Street," you may want to resist the urge to post pics online because it's possible not everyone will understand that it's a joke.
- Keep the noise down. It's fine to cheer if your Oscar nominee wins, but avoid throwing an over-the-top celebration that could annoy your neighbors. Loud party animals can get cited by the cops.
An Academy Awards party is usually good, harmless fun, but mix it with too much booze and you could win the prize for "Most Negligent Host at an Oscars Party." If anything goes wrong, don't panic -- finding legal help for your particular issue is just a click away.
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