Social Hosting

Under the Ohio Social Hosting Liability Law, a "social host" is an individual or business who serves alcohol in a social setting. Social hosts are prohibited from providing alcohol to people under 21. The law outlines consequences of serving, supplying, or knowing (or reasonably should have known) underage persons were served/or consumed alcohol on their premises. 

If you choose to host a party,you assume responsibility for any and all issues that may arise. There are some precautions you can take to host a smarter, safer party and reduce your risk for getting a ticket. 

Be a Good Host

  1. Discuss party expectations with your roommates ahead of time. Consider the date, time frame, house rules, number of people to invite, who will be the sober host, who will chat with the neighbors, etc. Remember, unwanted guests don't care if you receive a ticket. 
  2. Designate a sober host to control music volume and party access, monitor trash levels and address interactions with the neighbors or police (politely! It's always best to cooperate rather than argue). 
  3. Provide food and non-alcoholic beverages to reduce risk of alcohol poisoning and to provide your underage guests with options. 

Be a Good Neighbor

  1. Notify your neighbors and provide them with the phone number of the sober host (ahead of time!). It's both polite and smart to let your neighbors know they can call or text you, rather than the police, if they have a concern about your party. 
  2. Stay inside the house or at least in the backyard. Front-yard parties are more likely to attract the attention of the police and strangers. 
  3. Clean up and follow up. Clean up all trash resulting from your party before going uptown or to sleep. You can get a litter ticket at any time, including during the party. And follow up with your neighbors the next day. They may be more tolerant of your next party if they see that you care about how things went for them and that you respect the neighborhood. 

Be Responsible

  1. Know your guests. If your party is open to anyone, anyone can come in. You are legally responsible for the actions of everyone at the party. If an underage partygoer leaves your house drunk and causes a death or injury, you can be held accountable under the Ohio Revised Code. Not to mention, some unknown guests may have other motives in mind (theft, casing the residence, etc.). 
  2. Avoid "open source" alcohol. Large trash cans or plastic bins full of liquor and mixers are not a good idea. They're vulnerable to unknown substances, and it's difficult for drinkers to know how much they've drank, thus putting you at a greater risk for liability. 
  3. Know the laws for Ohio and the City of Oxford, and Miami policy. It's illegal to provide alcohol or allow underage persons to consume alcohol in your residence. Oxford has ordinances that prohibit excessive noise, yard litter, and outdoor furniture. Police can also declare your party a "Nuisance Party," which will shut it down and potentially lead to citation or arrest. Violations of local law also violate Miami's Student Code of Conduct. To see how Miami handles noise, litter, furniture and nuisance party violations, see the Good Neighbor Policy