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Bar, servers share fault for patrons’ impaired driving?

Partygoers who drink and drive may not only land themselves in jail, but may also send the person who served them alcohol there, too.

Partygoers who drink and drive may not only land themselves in jail, but may also send the person who served them alcohol there, too.

A crash, which killed three people in Ontario, put the issue in the spotlight when 16 people at Lake Joseph Club golf course were charged with serving alcohol to people who appeared intoxicated.

Canadian law states anyone who provides alcohol can be liable if a person causes injury to himself or others due to intoxication. According to Wes Bellmore, the communications officer for the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission, over the past year the AGLC has charged seven establishments with selling liquor to an intoxicated person and, in one case, manslaughter charges were laid by RCMP.

In Alberta, the ProServe program, which helps se­rvers identify and deal with intoxicated people, will be required for everyone in the industry by 2010. Bellmore said its “is designed to reduce over-service and make servers more aware of their legal liabilities.”

Dan Hrituc, who works at the Kilkenny Irish Pub, said the program is “common sense,” for somebody who has worked in the industry but adds that it is a good program for new servers.

Hrituc said you can’t legally take someone’s keys but as long as you have exercised due diligence by calling them a cab or calling the cops if they choose to drive, he feels you shouldn’t be liable.

 
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