Alcohol & The Law

Drinking and Driving

Drinking and driving poses a serious health risk to communities. MADD Canada estimates that 40% of all traffic collisions are a result of alcohol misuse. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation reported in 2015 (using 2013 stats) that 25% of fatal car accidents involve drinking and driving. 

Those charged with drinking and driving – including operating off-road vehicles such as dirt bikes and ATVs, snowmobiles, and boats – face fines,  jail time, and potential loss of driving privileges, job, family and friends.

Be a Responsible Host

As the host of a party, you are responsible for injuries and damages that occur as a result of the alcohol you provide during and after any events you organize such as house parties, weddings and company parties.

Follow this checklist whenever you plan a party:

  • Ensure food is available. Eating snacks slows down how much your guests are drinking. Avoid extra salty, sweet, or greasy snacks that can make guests thirsty.
  • Ensure alcohol-free drinks are available.
  • Make a plan for guests to get home safely. Some ideas include having designated drivers available, taking away car keys, calling taxis, and planning for overnight guests.
  • Designate a responsible bartender to serve guests. Avoid serving doubles or shooters.
  • Do not mix alcohol with snowmobiling, skiing or other activities involving inherent risks including sports and motor vehicles.
  • Ensure there will always be a sober and alert person to monitor the party.

Programs such as SmartServe educate servers on their responsibilities and obligations that are legally associated with providing alcohol. Please visit www.smartserve.ca for more information.

For more information about liability and tips to reduce the risks, please visit Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's "Having a Party?" 

Last Updated: 26/08/2016