What are the consequences of over-serving a patron?

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has strict rules about serving alcohol to intoxicated bar and restaurant patrons. According to the Liquor Licence Act, a licensee who knowingly serves alcohol to an intoxicated person can lose their license to sell liquor. Licensees are also prohibited from engaging in activities that would encourage the over-consumption of alcohol in their establishment.

In addition to losing their liquor licence, a licensee who serves alcohol to a drunken patron can be held liable for any harm that person causes as a result of their inebriated state. An over served individual that affects other patrons could result in lawsuits as could a drunken driving accident that takes place after the intoxicated person leaves the premises.

Lawsuits that have been filed against licensees for serving intoxicated patrons have resulted in the licensees being ordered to pay significant settlements. A car passenger who became a quadriplegic received a settlement of $1.75 million that was split between the drunk driver and the licensee who served alcohol to the driver. In another case, a hockey player whose arm was damaged in a bar fight received $124,000 in a settlement with the licensee for lost income.

A person who has been injured because of an intoxicated person's actions may want to speak with a lawyer about filing a personal injury claim. In some cases, a thorough investigation into the case may reveal that the owner of a bar or nightclub holds some liability for serving the intoxicated person. Every case involves its own set of unique factors, and the information presented in this blog is not equal to legal advice.

Source: Alcohol and Gaming Commision of Ontario, "Liability: There’s more to lose than your licence", October 23, 2014

On behalf of Burn Tucker Lachaîne Personal Injury Lawyers on October 24, 2014
Tags: Bar and Tavern Liability, Negligence, Serious Injury, Social Host Liability