The Outdoor Socializing Season Has Begun!
I think the moment we can shed the winter coat and the snow melts; we begin to spend more time outside. We clean up the patio or deck, pull out the outdoor furniture and clean the BBQ. It’s time to socialize outdoors. Just take a deep breath of all that fresh air.
The spring weather – or more like spring fever – brings out the best in our outdoor socializing events. We invite friends and family over to have a good time, laugh and tell stories. In many cases, the outdoor space can handle more people than the indoor space, so we’re tempted to invite more people. The next thing we know, it’s a party! Sounds good, huh? It could be…or maybe not so good. There just seems to be something about socializing outside with friends you enjoy that brings out the excitement in people.
Having a backyard cookout is always a hit for the warmer weather, filled with cool drinks, big laughs, and plenty of delicious food. It just seems to taste better in the backyard. And when the temperature drops later in the evening, take advantage of a fire pit and have plenty of blankets available so everyone can remain comfortable.
Being a good host means you’ll be able to offer a variety of beverages to your guests. If you decide to serve alcohol, you should also provide some non-alcoholic options for those who choose not to consume alcohol.
To stay organized throughout your backyard party, put your beverages in a cooler or ice chest filled with enough ice and put your beverages in a different area from the food area. This can prevent having the same area in your backyard to become a bottleneck when everyone is attempting to get something to drink and eat.
Speaking of drinking, there is a legal threshold for intoxication the courts are now holding people who serve alcohol to their friends and guests on their property more accountable for their actions. Whether you are a homeowner or tenant, you may be held responsible for your guests’ behaviour if you serve them alcohol, even after they leave your outdoor party.
Prior to the party, you should consider the following before they begin consuming alcohol:
- Ask your guests when they arrive if they are the designated driver
- Keep plenty of non-alcoholic beverages and food options available
- At approximately one hour before you anticipate guests will start to leave, remove the alcohol and start serving coffee, tea, or water
- Have cash on hand for cabs, use Uber for your friends, or offer an extra bedroom for anyone who wishes to stay over
- Keep an eye on your guests and don’t hesitate to ask for someone’s keys before their ability to drive becomes a concern
Before your guests consider leaving the party, provide them with a handheld breathalyzer from Not Your Child Corp. They are easy to use and by having them at the ready, you’re showing your guests you care about them getting home safely and legally.
The most important part of your outdoor party is to have fun. Take the time to talk to everyone you invited and enjoy yourself. If your guests see you laughing, chatting, and having a good time, they’re more likely to enjoy the party as well. Make breathalyzers from Not Your Child Corp part of the new normal. It shows we can all have fun and be responsible at the same time.
Scott Marshall has spent over 30 years promoting road safety in many jurisdictions. He has been a road safety journalist since 2005. Scott was also an on-air judge on the Discovery Network’s Canada’s Worst Driver during their first 3 seasons on the air. Not YourChildCorp. is proud to have Scott @Safedriver as a frequent contributor, his insights are irreplaceable.