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COCKTAIL PARTY LIABILITIES

As the holiday party season approaches, party-givers should remember to use care when serving alcohol to guests, says the Professional Insurance Agents of New York, a professional trade association.

"Although most people are aware that bars and restaurants can be held liable if someone leaving their establishment has an accident, many do not realize that a host can also be held liable if a guest leaving his or her home causes an auto accident," says Marshall A. Rubenstein, the group's president. If an inebriated guest causes an accident or injury, the victim may sue both the guest and the host, he says. To avoid problems, make non-alcoholic beverages available, close the bar two hours before the party ends, and don't let drunken guests drive home themselves.

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