Is liability an issue if you host a holiday party?

Holiday parties and enjoying the company of family and friends makes for some great memories. But if you're the party host those memories could turn into nightmares.

We're talking about liability that falls on you as the host of the party.

Are you liable if someone drinks too much at your party and decides to drive themselves home and is involved in a car crash once they leave your house or apartment?

Debi Moore is the owner of the Moore Insurance Agency in Quincy. She has been in the insurance business for more then 20 years.

"If you did nothing illegal and if they were of age and yes your homeowners policy of course would cover. And while we're not attorney's you should always contact your insurance agent if you ever think there is any issue with some kind of claim," Moore said.

But in Illinois, state law says a party host can't be held criminally liable if someone has too much to drink drives away from the party and is involved in a crash where there are injuries or even a death. But it's still good to make sure that you have up to date insurance coverage with either your homeowners or renters insurance.

"Don't serve shots. Have activities to do instead of just drinking. A cocktail is wonderful, but be responsible. Have somebody be the designated driver. Call a cab, some of those types of things. If they're really your friends those are the things you want to do anyway," Moore said.

And if you do plan to host a party, Moore suggests that you make sure your dog or cat is confined away from party goers and that even candles are away from where a guest might drag a sleeve or scarf through the fire and get burned.

She said animal bites are one of the biggest claims against homeowner policies and she wants to make sure everyone goes home happy and not with a memory that isn't very festive.