A bartender is legally liable for serving alcohol to a patron who becomes intoxicated and then injures a third party. A business can face a similar exposure when it hosts a social event where alcohol is served, such as an open house, holiday party or employee picnic.
Anytime you provide alcohol to individuals in a non-commercial manner, you are considered a social host. After the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Childs v. Desormeaux, social hosts generally are not responsible for the acts of guests that consume alcohol. However, a social host may become responsible for the acts of their guests if their conduct creates or exacerbates a risk to the public. It is important to take the appropriate steps to control your risk.
White Paper: Limiting Social Host Liquor Liability