‘Tis the time to be jolly, and alcohol is served at almost every social gathering in Ontario. Hosts and servers could land themselves in a lot of trouble if they allow a guest to overindulge and that person then causes injuries to someone else — even after his or her departure. A host would be wise to keep a close eye on guests to not serve them past the point of intoxication to avoid being held liable in a premises liability lawsuit.
Hosts might avoid such charges if they get to know which of the guests are the designated drivers and make sure that non-alcoholic beverages are available for those individuals. Making sure that guests get something to eat, and serving tea, coffee, water or other non-alcoholic drinks for an hour or so before guests start to depart might be a good idea. However, there will likely always be someone who does not know his or her limits, and having an extra bedroom ready or cash to pay for a cab might be smart.
Individuals who could be held liable along with the host for any injuries in cases in which alcohol plays a contributing role include servers who fail to stop serving guests who appear intoxicated. The occupier of the premises, which could be the person owning or renting the property, is responsible for protecting guests from harm. Employers are responsible for the safety of employees at staff parties, and the same applies to the sponsor of a gathering at which alcohol is served.
Anyone in Ontario who has to cope with the consequences of car accident injuries that were caused by a drunk driver might pursue financial relief. An experienced personal injury lawyer can launch an independent investigation to determine whether other parties might have negligently contributed to the blood alcohol level of the impaired driver. Those individuals could also be named as defendants in a civil lawsuit in pursuit of financial and emotional damage recovery.