Guidelines for Throwing a Party

Planning for Your Party

Hosts should review their leases to determine if any party restrictions exist. Some leases prohibit or limit parties or the number of guests. Some leases also contain “no keg” restrictions. If you violate your lease, your land- lord may have grounds to evict you, to sue you for breach of contract, or both.

Further, you should contact your neighbors and request that they direct complaints to you rather than the police. Leave them your name and telephone number. Keep in mind that although you have planned the weekend as a time for celebration and parties with friends, your neighbors may have planned a weekend of peace and relaxation.

Planning a successful party is more than gathering together to drink. Consider some of the following planning tips:

  1. Plan a party around a theme other than alcohol.
  2. Provide alternate beverages for guests who do not wish to consume alcohol.
  3. Serve food or snacks.
  4. Be aware of state laws, local laws, and university regulations.
  5. Obtain the proper alcohol permits if your party will have a keg; get a K-license.
  6. Require an Illinois driver’s license for identification and age verification.
  7. Set limits on the quantity of alcohol available.
  8. Measure when making mixed drinks.
  9. Stop serving alcohol about an hour before the party is scheduled to end.
  10. Make arrangements to get intoxicated guests home safely: Do not let them drive!
  11. Place waste containers around to prevent littering and promote recycling
  12. Review your parking availability: guests may not park on grass areas.
  13. Be prepared to call the police if guests become unruly or if an underage person demands access to alcohol.
  14. Take steps to prevent damage to your property and the landlord’s apartment.

Social Host Responsibility

As a host, you are accountable for your party.

In order to avoid underage possession of alcohol, you must check an Illinois driver’s license or ID card at the place where alcohol is served, as well as monitor the premises to ensure that underage persons are not avoiding your efforts.

Moreover, you cannot sell alcohol to anyone unless you have a license; you also may not sell any commodity to recover the cost of alcohol, nor take up a collection, nor charge an admission.

You should monitor the loudness of your party by periodically checking the level of noise at your property lines. Your party will be quieter if you can keep your guests inside your home. Closing windows and doors will also reduce the noise levels heard by your neighbors.

Ensure that sufficient restrooms are available so your guests are not using the outdoors.

You also should guard against your guests damaging your prop- erty and the landlord’s apartment.

Do not permit drug use; merely permitting drug abuse is a crime.

Finally, be available to answer the phone during the party. If neighbors telephone but are unable to speak with the host, then they usually call the police instead.

Moderation is the key to a successful party. If people consume too much alcohol, they are likely to use poor judgment.

Poor judgment tends to lead to criminal behavior, such as dis- orderly conduct, property damage, driving under the influence of alcohol, vandalism, or acquaintance rape.

Excessive consumption of alcohol also may lead to other consequences, such as alcoholism, unwanted sexual experiences, missed classes, poor performance on exams, strained relationships, and other undesirable results.

Hosts can save their guests considerable trouble and money by insisting that all beer be left at the door.

If your guests carry open containers of alcohol on city sidewalks or streets, they will be cited.

Clean up all litter immediately. Also contact your neighbors for their post-party comments.

As your guests begin to leave the party, do not allow those who have consumed alcohol to drive home. Designated drivers literally may be the “life” of your party. If a guest has consumed alcohol, ensure that a designated driver takes that guest home safely.

Remind your guests that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs usually will involve more than $1,000 fine, license suspension and a possibility of one year in jail, and permanently increased insurance rates, if insurance can be bought at all.

Having a party?

Note: All residents of an apartment, whether present at the party or not, can be charged with “Adult Responsibility” for serving minors. Also:

  • You MAY NOT charge a cover fee of any amount where alcohol will be served or available, nor can you charge for marks, stamps, bracelets, necklaces, etc. which represent purchase of right to drink.
  • You MAY NOT charge for cups of alcohol without a retail liquor license.
  • You MAY NOT charge for cups where alcohol will be served or available.
  • You MAY NOT serve or allow those under 21 to be served alcohol. A $310.00 “Adult Responsibility” ticket can be issued for each minor served. Posting a sign does NOT relieve you of the responsibility!
  • You MAY NOT have more than 1 keg on the premises without a K-license. Empties count!
  • Keep your music volume down! (minimum $165.00 fine) The #1 reason parties get busted is excessively loud music.

Important Contacts

This pamphlet does not constitute legal advice. Students who are confronted with legal problems or who need specific advice are encouraged to seek assistance from a licensed attorney at Student Legal Services.


Brochure Download

The information on this page is also available to download in brochure form.