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Alcohol and Office Parties

Nearly half of all traffic deaths in Texas are related to alcohol consumption. This is particularly true during the Holiday Season with the now traditional office party.

Our law firm is often called upon to represent the victims of drunk drivers. On their behalf, we share these suggestions on how an employer might reduce the risk of an alcohol-related accident stemming from an office party:

  • Consider having a non-alcoholic party or, if alcohol is served, stop serving it at least one hour before the end of the party.
  • If alcohol is to be served, food should also be served to slow down the effects of alcohol. Salty foods should be avoided, however, because they cause more drinking.
  • Hire caterers who have liquor licenses and who are experienced in monitoring alcohol consumption.
  • If a private caterer is not hired, then one or two employees should be designated to serve the alcohol. These employees should be management level because non-management employees may feel intimidated telling their supervisor or even a co-worker that he or she has had too much to drink.
  • The people serving alcohol must not drink. This impairs their ability to judge other people’s sobriety.
  • Before the party, choose non-drinking co-workers as designated drivers and have the party at a location convenient to public transportation or cabs.
  • One myth about drinking and driving is that serving coffee helps people become sober. It will not. Only time can reduce the effects of alcohol on a person.

Office parties are a traditional way for employees to socialize and relax with their co-workers during the Holiday Season. Serving alcohol responsibly at office parties helps make sure we are all here for the New Year.

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