Director of Business Development
Sylvia Group began blogging about what are known as "social host laws" several years ago, in advance of New Year's Eve. Today, we revisit the topic in advance of what's become another annual event: the Patriots playing in the Super Bowl.
With the Pats back in the NFL championship game for the third straight year and ninth time in 18 seasons, New Englanders are old pros at hosting parties when their team is in the Big Game. But sometimes party-goers ingest a bit more beverage than they should over the course of what can be a very long day and night, and for that reason, hosts have to watch their guests almost as closely as they watch their team.
Don't let social host liability and a guest's DUI arrest ruin your Super Bowl celebration.
When Celebration Becomes Inebriation
Here's what we discovered two years ago in advance of the Patriots' historic comeback victory over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI: Studies by the breathylyzer technology company BACtrack indicate that:
- NFL Championship Sunday ranks among the nation's five most drunken days, with an average blood/alcohol concentration of 0.091 among BACtrack users in a study ranging from November 2013 through October 2014. That
date's blood alcohol content (BAC) level trailed only New Year's Eve and the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day, tied for first at 0.094; the Saturday between the NFL conference championship games and the Super Bowl at 0.093; and Feb. 15, the first Saturday after the NFL season, which also happened to be the day after Valentine's Day, at 0.092.
- As a region, New England likes to drink. A 2011-2013 study by the Centers for Disease Control showed the highest percentages of occasional and heavy drinkers to be in northern states, with three New England States ranking among the top five nationally among adults who had consumed at least one drink in a span of 30 days and also showing a comparatively large percentage of adults who consumed multiple drinks on a daily basis.
- Patriots fans generally rank in the middle of the pack for alcohol consumption on NFL game-day Sundays, but their consumption is significantly higher with the Pats in the Super Bowl. BACtrack's study of the first seven weeks of the 2015 season showed fans rooting for New England having an average BAC level of 0.041, well above Cincinnati fans' last-place average of 0.015, but far below Buffalo fans' league-leading 0.076. (Runners-up Detroit and Philadelphia each checked in at a relatively teatotaling 0.069.) But that regular-season New England average was no way near Pats' fans Super Bowl BAC level, which climbed steadily from 0.043 at kickoff to 0.084 amid postgame celebrations.
3 Rules for Social Hosts
That brings us back to keeping an eye on your guests if you're hosting this Sunday.
Visitors to the Sylvia Group Blog by now are probably familiar with the Massachusetts and Rhode Island social host laws. For those unfamiliar, what you need to know is that an inebriated guest who is involved in an auto accident after leaving your party could leave you facing charges and a lawsuit.
If you're hosting:
- Don't over-serve.
- Make sure there's plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverage available.
- If someone does have too much to drink, make sure he or she isn't driving.
The Insurance Information Institute has more information on social host liability and sensible hosting here.
Much of this is common sense, we know, but then again, common sense sometimes goes out the window during the Super Bowl, as Seahawks fans know all too well.
Enjoy Sunday's game. You know you can count on Belichick, Brady and Co. to do their jobs. Do whatever you can to ensure the Super Bowl leaves positive memories.
Here at Sylvia Group, we, too, have a winning team. If you'd like to discuss how we can help you reduce risk and manage its cost through a program of performance-based insurance, we'd be happy to tackle the challenge.
About Mike Isbister and Sylvia Group
Throughout his 30-year career in sales and service, Mike Isbister has achieved success by combining analytics and action, recognizing that having meaningful data is important — but only if you know what to do with it. The analytics-plus-action approach works not only for Mike and his team but also for Sylvia Group clients. Through the SPS process of compiling and breaking down data, they’re better able to analyze needs and exposures, review claims to determine risk-management solutions, and design comprehensive, cost-effective insurance programs.
Voted "Best Insurance Agency" in both years of the SouthCoast Media Best of the Best Awards program, Sylvia Group helps businesses and individuals protect their future by designing insurance, benefits and financial planning programs. We’re a locally owned agency known for our commitment to our clients and our community, as well for our industry expertise. Founded in New Bedford, MA, in 1950, headquartered in neighboring Dartmouth, and serving businesses and individuals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island and beyond, Sylvia Group is certified as a Woman Owned Business Enterprise with the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office and has the distinction of being the first six-time recipient of the Five Star designation awarded by the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA) for all-around agency excellence.