Your Legal Liability if Your Guests Drive Home Drunk
You host a party where there’s food, music, cheering and alcohol. Then a guest, who has had a few drinks, gets into their car and drives home while under the influence. Are you liable to be held responsible if your guest or anyone else gets hurt in an accident? If you are having a party that includes alcohol, you should ensure that everyone who drinks gets home safe with the help of a driver, a cab or a room to lie in after the party is over. In case of bartenders and licensed establishments, there is a clear legal duty to cut out the alcohol if patrons seem intoxicated and to ensure they get home safely but for individuals who throw private parties, the law isn’t clear. However, the risk of legal liability exists and legal responsibilities may be broadening scope wise.
A case in Canada Childs v. Desormeaux, where a woman was paralyzed and her boyfriend killed in a car accident struck by the driver who had been drunk. The woman sued the hosts of a New Year’s party attended by the drunk driver who bought his own alcohol to the host’s home. According to personal injury lawyer Jeremy Diamond, the Supreme Court of Canada concluded that the social hosts do not owe a duty of care to third parties injured by intoxicated guests and added that the case did not determine whether there was a duty of care in other circumstances, such as foreseeability of harm is present for the guests themselves.
In order to reduce the risk of liability there are a few things hosts can do apart from providing accommodation and transportation such as not making drinks the focus of the party, cutting out alcohol well before time, take car keys away from the guests if necessary and avoid guests having serve themselves. Otherwise, with the inclination of the law to change itself according to the need of the hour it appears there would be a time when hosts will have to hire an impaired driving attorney for them in the near future.
Read the full article here: https://globalnews.ca/news/3926502/drunk-driving-canada-social-host-liability/
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