On behalf of everyone at TWL Law, we would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe holiday season.
The month of December sees many people celebrating in some way. Whether one is attending a work event, a holiday party or simply hosting family and friends at their home; good food, late nights and in many cases a generous pouring of alcohol may be involved.
While there is no Canadian law that details the responsibilities of a party host, Ontario has a provincial host liability law. In Ontario, a social host is defined as someone who holds a party on their property, whether they provide the alcohol or organize a BYOB event. As a host, you are responsible for ensuring your guests don’t drink too much or participate in any drunken or destructive behaviour. Simply put, as a host you are responsible for whatever happens on the property you rent or own, whether its physical damage or accidents/injuries.
All of us at TWL Law want nothing more than for everyone to celebrate and we want your guests to enjoy themselves without any risk to you or your business, so here are a few friendly tips:
Consider having the event at a restaurant or hotel (away from your home or office).
Monitor alcohol consumption - if you see someone drinking too much, it's up to you to set limits and when in doubt - take away their car keys!
Offer non-alcoholic beverages.
As a host, it's best that at least 1 host remains sober so that you can keep a proper eye on your guest(s).
Don't make drinking the focus of the party.
Ensure that there is a lot of food and water on hand to dilute the effects of alcohol.
Shovel! Be sure that your sidewalks and driveways are clear of snow and ice so that your guests can make their way safely to your front door.