Under the Liquor Licence Act, it is illegal for a commercial host to serve any person who is, or appears to be intoxicated. All for-profit liquor establishments like bars, taverns, clubs, restaurants are commercial hosts under the definition. A legal responsibility is also owed by the commercial host to any person who is reasonably expected to be harmed by the intoxicated patron. This includes the patron themselves, as well as any third parties they could be in contact with.

A commercial host may be legally responsible for accidents that occur both on and off their premises. They may also be legally responsible for an accident that happens several hours after the patron left the establishment. So long as there is a sufficient link between the commercial host, the intoxicated patron and any subsequent injury or damage, the courts may find legal responsibility.

Ontario courts also require commercial hosts to meet a high standard of care. They cannot escape legal responsibility by stating they were simply unaware the patron was intoxicated. Nor can they wait to stop serving till an obvious indication of intoxication. Even loud music and darkness will not let commercial hosts escape their legal responsibilities.

If you, or someone you love, has been injured in an alcohol-related incident you should immediately inquire into the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Commercial host legal responsibility is just one factor a lawyer would consider in establishing a strong case for their client, to help them realize the maximum compensation they are entitled to.