Ottawa injury lawyer David Hollingsworth explains social host liability.
It’s the holiday time of year again- Holiday parties and family get togethers. It is also the festive time of year when we are often more social and potentially drinking more alcoholic beverages. One question I am often asked as an Ottawa personal injury lawyer concerns social host liability. Many people want to know if they are hosting a party what are they legally responsible for. No one wants to think this way, but it is a reality.
What are the legally responsable for as a host of a party?
If someone attends a party at your house and becomes injured, the question will be whether the personal injuries suffered by the accident victims could have been reasonably foreseen by the host. If the host did not know – nor ought to have known – that their guest was intoxicated, then one can agree that they could not have known that they were at risk of suffering a personal injury. This would mean the host of the party would not be responsible. In other words, as a host , you would have to prove that you had no idea your guest was intoxicated. This may be difficult to prove if you were serving alcohol. When a host is aware their guest is intoxicated, the host may have the legal responsibility to ensure that their guest who is intoxicated not drive. In other words, as a party host, when you know that a guest is intoxicated and intends to drive, STOP THEM. Offer them a taxi home, find a designated driver to take them home or allow them to sleep over. You can also be held legally responsible if you continue to serve alcohol to an intoxicated guest knowing that they would be driving home. It’s not unlike when a bartender cuts off an intoxicated patron.
social host liability
As an Ottawa Accident Lawyer, I am urging everyone to be safe out there ! Please, if you are drinking, do not drive!!
–Call a taxicab:
Blue Line taxi (613)-238-1111
Capital Taxi (613) 744-3333
WestWay Taxi 613 727-0101
DJs Taxi (613) 829-9900
-Operation Red Nose (613) 771-2886
-Call Responsible Choice (613) 248-0444
-Take a bus !
-Designate a driver !
It’s common sense, you never want anyone being placed in a dangerous situation. As a host you have the extra responsibility of ensuring that your guests depart safely and are free from injury. Do what it takes….you will never regret airing on the side of being overly cautious …Happy holidays and all the best !
For more information on social host liability or to contact one of our experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyers, visit www.ottawainjury.ca