Cannabis is the talk of the town. With the recent legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada, people are concerned with drivers being impaired by marijuana use.

This is a good time to reflect on what we can do to proactively try to avoid a motor vehicle tragedy from happening. Think about this not only in terms of impaired driving from drug use, but alcohol use as well. After all the holiday season is almost upon us.

Defensive Driving

As a driver:

  • Stay alert. Be mindful of the actions of other drivers. Look for signs of weaving, erratic braking, fast turns, and potential collisions.
  • Keep a safe distance from motor vehicles around you to give you an opportunity to steer out of a potential crash or otherwise act appropriately. If someone is tailgating you, move to another lane when it’s safe to do so.

Social Host Liability

With holiday parties about to begin, engage in some friendly reminders about the adverse effects of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In addition, discuss options for people to return home from an event in a safe manner, such as leaving with a designated driver or taking a taxi.

Whether in a work or personal setting, a host can be found liable for damages where someone attended the host’s social event, left the premises impaired, and then injured or killed another person while driving. A degree of negligence may be attributed to the person or other entity who provided drinks to the driver who caused the accident.

Some proactive measures hosts can take are:

  • Delegate people at your event to monitor the availability and use of alcohol and drugs. This includes keeping an eye out for use of medication, as even prescribed drugs mixed with alcohol can diminish one’s driving skills.
  • Hire servers who have been trained to spot signs of impairment.
  • Ensure that the monitors understand what the protocol is if a situation were to arise. For example, what steps are to be taken if someone is intoxicated and intends to drive home, or someone is still consuming alcohol well after serving has ended?
  • Where doubt exists, do not accept a statement from your guests that they are able to drive.

If you need assistance in a personal injury matter or a better understanding of your potential liability as a social host, call Douglas Strelshik Law. For over 30 years, Douglas Strelshik has been representing injured parties in his personal injury practice. Moreover he has been assisting businesses and homeowners in understanding their legal and insurance obligations, and advancing their insurance claims.