Across Canada, governments are continually striving to reduce the significant number of deaths and injuries caused by impaired driving. As Ontario’s principal regulatory authority for the sale and service of alcohol, the AGCO is mandated to deliver regulatory services that serve to reduce the harmful impacts of alcohol on society.
Under the Liquor Licence Act, it is illegal for a licenced establishment to serve customers to intoxication, promote practices that may encourage customers to become intoxicated, or serve someone who is showing signs of intoxication. The AGCO works with licensees to make sure they understand these requirements and remain compliant with their obligations.
The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police and the AGCO introduced a province-wide Last Drink Program (“LDP”) and Police Reports Program in August of 2012. With these programs, the AGCO has taken important steps to promote responsible sale and service and respond to licensed establishments contributing to cases of impaired driving.
The Last Drink Program
The LDP provides an opportunity for the AGCO and police services to share information and educate owners of licenced establishments on the dangers of drinking and driving. The information is also used to inform the AGCO’s inspection and compliance activities.
Under this program, people charged with certain alcohol-related driving offences are asked the name of the licensed establishment where they had their last drink. If the information is provided by the driver, participating police services will document it and forward it to the regulator. An AGCO Compliance Official will visit the licensee to discuss their obligations under the Liquor Licence Act and reiterate the importance and responsibility of complying with laws related to public safety concerns such as over-service, serving minors, and hours of operation.
For more information see the Last Drink Program information sheet.
Police Reports Program
The Police Reports Program requires police to contact the AGCO when the sale of alcohol from a licensed premise or event has contributed to a serious injury or death. Police services are also encouraged to report any incident related to the sale and service of alcohol by licensed premises or events, even if the incident does not result in serious injury or death.
A police report results in an evaluation of risk related to the operation of the licensed establishment. To evaluate risk, the AGCO reviews police notes, inspection reports, surveillance footage, and previous infractions of the Liquor Licence Act. This review may lead to a range of regulatory responses which include a warning, monetary penalty, suspension or even revocation of the liquor licence. The AGCO can also add conditions to a licence intended to promote compliance outcomes.
The Last Drink Program and the Police Reports Program enable the AGCO to identify opportunities to work with licensees so they can better meet their regulatory obligations. The AGCO’s standards-based focus prioritizes public safety. With these programs, we continue to address cases of impaired driving and work to reduce the risks it poses to the people of Ontario.