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Legally Speaking: Take steps to protect yourself and guests at Memorial Day parties

(Unsplash Photo)

Having a party this Memorial Day weekend? Maybe a graduation party? Kids, family and friends can make the holiday memorable, so make sure you do everything you can to make sure it is not full of bad memories.

Be prepared!

Traveling during holidays can be stressful and expensive, so many choose to throw a party or get together at their home. This can be a relaxing and fun idea if you are prepared and take steps to ensure safety. If you do not, you could find yourself dealing with police officers, lawyers and — in the worst case — paramedics.

Let’s talk about drugs, alcohol and guns.

Lock up or hide your medications. Kids, teens and friends will be using your bathrooms. People are inherently curious, they may go through your medicine cabinet and there are some that cannot resist grabbing a little something.

Beer, wine, margaritas, etc., can be dangerous. Keep an eye on children to make sure they do not accidentally pick up mom or dad’s drink.

The warning given to young women before they go out to bars is to watch their drinks so no one slips anything in them. Well, adults, watch your drinks at the get together to make sure a little one doesn’t accidentally chug your margarita.

If one of your guests enjoys themselves a bit too much, take care of them. Do not let them drive home.

Arizona’s DUI laws are strict and, even if you are not driving, you can face significant consequences if the guest causes an accident or kills someone if you supplied the alcohol or they were at your home. You could face a criminal conviction AND a civil liability lawsuit (i.e. personal injury, negligence, wrongful death).

Arizona has a law that makes it a crime to contribute to the delinquency of a minor. This means if you supply anything to them that is illegal or illegal for them (drugs/alcohol), you could be facing a criminal conviction.

Granted, it is a misdemeanor, but it can affect your life in a negative way.

Let’s talk about guns. This is a biggie.

You can be a staunch Second Amendment supporter or you can be simply all for home protection. Regardless of the reason, if you have a gun or a weapon, you need to lock it up or hide it!  Above all, do not take it out and show it off or fire it in the air!

Now that I have made you aware of some of the dangers of this time of year and having a party, here are things you can do should you decide to go down this route.

These do not guarantee there won’t be problems or liability, but they can help create a safer environment:

  • Lock up your alcohol, or give it to a neighbor to hold onto. Just hiding it will not work.
  • Remove all medicines, prescription and over the counter, from the house or lock them up.
  • Lock up any firearms or other weapons, including knives and BB guns.
  • Offer beverages in cans and bottles, as kids are less likely to pick these up.
  • Check around your home for hazards, bad steps, holes in the yard, etc. You could face civil liability if someone gets hurt at your house.
  • Be aware of what is going on around you.
  • Talk to guests to check for slurred speech and signs of intoxication.
  • Offer plenty of food.
  • Use those orange cones in front of the house to let others know there could be guests in the street.

Have a fantastic and safe Memorial Day weekend!

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