Over-Serving: The Responsibilities of Being a Host | MG Law

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Over-Serving: The Responsibilities of Being a Host

Summer is a popular time for people to go out to bars, restaurants, and to host barbeques and parties. Whether you’re a restaurant owner, bartender, or just hosting a party at your place, you are liable for the actions of intoxicated patrons and guests. That includes their actions before and after leaving the property.

A commercial host, such as a bar or restaurant, that knowingly serves alcohol to an intoxicated person can lose their license to sell liquor. The licensee can also be held liable for any harm that a drunken person causes as a result of being over-served. This can be anything from a drunk driver causing an accident to an intoxicated individual starting a fight. Any establishment that profits from the sale of alcohol is obligated to take away the intoxicated patron’s car keys, make sure they have a safe ride home, call them a taxi, offer them a place to stay, or, in some cases, call the police.

The same rules apply if you are hosting an event at your place. There are some precautions and tips you can use to ensure your summer party or barbeque is safe and enjoyable for everyone attending:

  • Don’t make drinking the focus of your event and keep a close eye on the alcohol consumption of your guests, as well as your own.
  • Arrange for transportation by having designated drivers to ensure no one gets behind the wheel after drinking.
  • Prepare to serve food in order to absorb some of that alcohol and limit its intoxicating effects.
  • Limit the number of guests that come to your party. Larger parties are harder to control and can very easily get out of hand.
  • Before the party begins, have a look around your property and check that it is reasonably safe. Remove anything dangerous or potentially harmful.
  • If possible, have designated bartenders. They can help to ensure drinks are properly measured and evenly served.

Remember that it is your responsibility to stop someone when they’ve had too much to drink. Keep an eye out for those that over-indulge and don’t forget to always drink responsibly. If you’ve been injured because of an intoxicated person’s action, then MG Law can help. We can investigate to figure out who is liable and support you along the way. Call us today at 613-730-8460 to book a free consultation.

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