Most everyone has experienced drunken Santa at a holiday party. It makes for funny stories about the drunken uncle Santa who fell in the punch bowl, passed out in the yard, made some un-Santa like advances toward some of the guests and so on.
It is not as funny when Santa on his sleigh-ride home hurts himself or innocent drivers and their families. And though entertaining, and possibly even worthy of YouTube, it could get very expensive when Santa in a polar rage challenges all comers to a brawl.
The laws in New Mexico are pretty clear regarding liability for setting drunken guests loose on the roads. This applies to Santa as well as any other guests. Here are few things to consider before lining up the tequila shots at your holiday party.
New Mexico‘s dram shop and social host laws will hold the hosts liable for accidents and personal injuries arising out of the overindulgence of guests at a party. The host is liable to any innocent victims injured by the drunken guest. These injuries are most often associated with DWI accidents. It would also include drunken brawls as noted above along with any other accidents caused by the drunken guest.
The host can also be liable for injuries to the guest himself. This could occur in all manner of situations. It would include a guest sent packing who is clearly intoxicated who is injured or killed in a DWI accident. It might also include the guests who flips his chair due to excessive merriment and suffers a skull fracture. Or maybe, it is the guests who flirts with the wrong guest‘s wife and takes a beating out in the yard. And then again, there is Santa who proves ill equipped to take on the crowd.
There are too many variations on this theme to count them all. Suffice it to say that over-serving your guests with alcohol is risky business. And unless you know your guests and are paying attention, any alcohol brings some risks.
Holiday parties will have alcohol. And people will drink. This is perhaps unavoidable. However, there is no need or excuse for encouraging guests to overindulge. In addition, there are just some friends and family that you know cannot control themselves around free booze. Keep an eye on them. Better yet, don‘t invite them. If you must, take their keys early, keep them under control and plan for an overnight guest.
So pay attention, know your guests, put your drunken guests in lockdown, update your homeowner‘s insurance and be careful to whom you give the Santa suit. Drunken Santa and his elves might be entertaining or even downright hilarious in their holiday antics, but this is one ghost of Christmas that you do not want to visit in the future.