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Subject: Liability - Alcohol at HOA sponsored social events
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Author Messages
LanceG1
(Georgia)

Posts:42


04/02/2019 12:26 PM  
This is a Georgia HOA with no common buildings, only a walking trail as a "common area".

The social committee wants to have a Wine and Easter Egg event at one of the residents houses as a HOA social committee event. They have asked for a small amount of money from the HOA for it, $100. I did a quick review of our current Umbrella Policy and anything alcohol related is currently explicitly excluded. There appears to be a liquor liability option that can be purchased that we declined for the current policy.

My thought, from a liability perspective, is that we should either:

1. Purchase the liquor addendum for our umbrella policy since this is being done through the HOA.
2. Or remove the alcohol aspect from the event.

I'm supportive of the nominal spend for the event, and have no issue with alcohol at events. I just want to make sure we are not exposing the association to excessive liability by doing so (IE: not having insurance coverage). Is there any other pitfall etc. that I may not be considering here?

RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:578


04/02/2019 12:31 PM  
Bring Your Own Bottle
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6308


04/02/2019 12:37 PM  
I think you can buy a one-time rider very cheaply. I like RoyP's idea too.
LanceG1
(Georgia)

Posts:42


04/02/2019 12:46 PM  
The one time rider would seem like the safer option even if it is BYOB since that is the theme of the event. If it's inexpensive that makes it more compelling IMHO.
ND
(PA)

Posts:268


04/02/2019 12:51 PM  
Lance, wasn't it you who was asking about Board Members having a glass of wine during a Board Meeting . . . which I think I recall you (and others here) being adamantly opposed to? Seems like your HOA is a combination of booze hounds and worrywarts!

I'm trying to figure out what a "Wine and Easter Egg Event" would be. Is this an adult-only thing or families? I say, have an Easter Egg event. Leave "wine" out of the name and publicizing of the event. If people choose to bring wine or beer to enjoy during the event, then so be it. If some idiots are guzzling bottles of wine, pounding beers, or lining up shots . . . show them the door. Otherwise there shouldn't be anything to worry about. Any money allotted by the HOA for the event should be given with the caveat that it is not to be used for purchasing alcohol.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1179


04/02/2019 1:49 PM  
Just don't name things with alcohol references ...

Put the word out quietly and allow anyone to do as they wish ... including bringing or consuming alcoholic beverages.

"Easter Egg Social!

etc
etc
etc

HOA to furnish snacks.

Bring whatever you want."
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7990


04/02/2019 4:42 PM  
No HOA money should not go for this. Whomever wants to participate can BYOB or pay a certain amount to cover purchase. Otherwise, keep the HOA money out of buying alcohol if the insurance has such clauses.

Former HOA President
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3189


04/02/2019 4:55 PM  
i seriously question your sanity to have a kids even and alcohol event together. if the adults cant stay sober for the 10 minutes it takes to do an easter egg hunt for the kids, you hoa has bigger issues
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1179


04/02/2019 8:02 PM  
Steven,

Don’t be silly ... we had very well managed combined kid and adult events in my past two neighborhoods - including neighborhood movie nights.

No issues - ever.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:663


04/02/2019 9:32 PM  
I would not endorse nor encourage bringing or providing alcohol at a community event. A) you're likely to need a liquor license; B) something is bound to go wrong; C) insurance premiums usually go up.

Whatever fits into a Red Solo Cup is fair game.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16257


04/03/2019 4:19 AM  
I wouldn't do it.

The level of responsibility for hosts of parties where alcohol is present varies by State.
Therefore, you will need to verify what the applicable statutes specify.

One place I worked used to hold parties with alcohol. When a law was passed making the host responsible if someone was injured or injured someone after they left the party (without stopping elsewhere to consume more alcohol) the parties became dry. Still had fun, but the parties didn't last as long as they used to.

As others have said, since you are charging for the event, you may need special permits or licenses even if it is a members only party.
LanceG1
(Georgia)

Posts:42


04/03/2019 8:20 AM  
Here is something I found from a Georgia HOA attorney recommends when having them for what it's worth. Sounds like most of the advice here fits with that general spirit.

http://gaddislanier.com/wp-content/uploads/Understanding-the-risks-of-serving-alcohol-at-a-community-function-article.pdf
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1179


04/03/2019 2:22 PM  
Good link, Lance - good points, especially #2.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3189


04/03/2019 5:59 PM  
Don’t be silly ... we had very well managed combined kid and adult events in my past two neighborhoods - including neighborhood movie nights.

No issues - ever.


Only takes one person.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3189


04/03/2019 6:07 PM  
And that person might not even be a resident......
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1179


04/03/2019 6:19 PM  
No issues - many, many years.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Liability - Alcohol at HOA sponsored social events



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