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Subject: allowing alcohol on common property
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Author Messages
ClW
(Ohio)

Posts:2


03/30/2009 6:21 PM  
We have a private lake community with free standing homes. We have several events each year during which a great deal of alcohol is consumed. I am concerned with liability. First can we serve alcohol purchased by HOA funds? Second, if we choose to not purchase the alcohol can we allow an outside proprietor to come onto our property to sell alcohol at various events? Third if we do neither of the previous can we simply allow members to supply their own alcohol on common property at community events? Does posting signage expressing rules against underage consumption and public drunkenness do anything for us?
SusanW1
(Michigan)

Posts:5202


03/30/2009 8:07 PM  
Your HOA puts inself into a position of great liability by sponsoring an event that serves alcohol. (for sure, you can't SELL it, unless you have a license)

If folks gather together and feel that they MUST have alcohol, don't associate it with an HOA event.

Some kid OR adult gets drunk at your event and gets into a car and crashes into another car, guess who they will come after?
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


03/30/2009 8:11 PM  
Yup yup yup.

Susan is right on the money with that response.

I've worked in the adult beverage industry most of my adult life.

I would strongly urge you to meet with some local event coordinators regarding this area (believe me, laws have run the gamut over the years, so they would very likely be right on top of them), and ask all the right questions regarding insurance, liability, etc.

My first advice to you would be: Don't Do It.

In no way, shape or form.

Even our own company stopped serving alcohol at events, and that's our core business!!

MaryA1


Posts:0


03/31/2009 7:40 AM  
I agree with both Susan and Michele. In this litigous society we live in you'd only be asking for trouble. A community get-to-gether can be just as successful w/o liquor and if too many residents complain about the lack of it, then they've got problems!!!
ClW
(Ohio)

Posts:2


03/31/2009 4:31 PM  
Trust me, many people in this community have problems with overuse of alcohol and are very vocal about it. We are trying to slowly change long standing tradition by limiting alcohol consumption at various events and on common property. I am hoping we can get it done without a tragedy. Thanks for the suggestion about asking local centers who rent out for parties, great idea. I will get on that! Take care to all-
GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5491


03/31/2009 4:55 PM  
In addition to the other suggestions, I would run it by the Association's insurance agent and / or the attorney. When they get over having an apoplectic fit, they will tell you to discontinue the practice and you now have the perfect scapegoat: The insurance company / attorney made us do it.

Studies show that 5 out of 4 people have problems with fractions
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


03/31/2009 6:41 PM  
Also, CIW, I was thinking more of Event Coordinator types.

Places that rent out probably already have all sorts of waivers, insurance requirements, etc, that keep them covered without having to worry too much about each individual group renting.

Event coordinators, such as the type of people who produce and execute corporate events and parties, or even receptions, etc, will probably have some better insight for you.

JohnK3
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:967


04/01/2009 9:14 AM  
Sorry, but I can't press the Panic Button on ths one.

Sidebar: If you're not familiar with Chicagoland, for instance, there is a passion in the summer for what is known as 16 inch softball. Uncountable leagues and teams who battle it out in 7 inning games, typically on public fields, often attended by big crowds of friends and fans. Without beer, however, the games would be like a day without sunshine.

Prudence is fine. Not selling is fine. Not providing is fine. But BYOB is about as American as apple pie.
MaryA1


Posts:0


04/01/2009 3:31 PM  
John,

BYOB only takes away the cost; the liability falls upon the host of the event, aka the HOA. That is the issue we're dealing with here -- liability.
JohnK3
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:967


04/02/2009 9:15 AM  
Posted By MaryA1 on 04/01/2009 3:31 PM
John,

BYOB only takes away the cost; the liability falls upon the host of the event, aka the HOA. That is the issue we're dealing with here -- liability.




Mary, Esq., Jr.,

Yes, liability is the issue, but the law is contrary to your conclusion.

Commercial hosts' responsibilities are different than those of social hosts. A commercial bartender, say, has the training as to if a customer is tanked, not to mention has an interest in keeping track of how much booze is consumed because that's how the bill is calculated. A social host has neither, even assuming he/she is providing the coctails, hence liability is unlikely. Taking it a step further in the BYOB scenario, the host is not even providing the elixers, so there's no nexus, if you will, with the drinker's behavior.

Hypothetical: HOA sponsors a picnic in a large open area. During the festivities, an airplane in distress attempts a landing and kills somebody. Your reasoning would make the HOA liable because they chose the site?

Nah. Not the HOA's problem. Nor is what or how much somebody drinks on their own volition from their little brown bag.

Trust me. I wouldn't steer you wrong, n'est-ce pas?
MaryA1


Posts:0


04/02/2009 1:25 PM  
John,

Thx for setting me straight -- that's why I'm only Esq, Jr.!! Now I'm going to start campaigning for a big Octoberfest instead of the dull Christmas party we have each year!!! LOL
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