Under the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 (LLCA) it is illegal to serve customers to intoxication, engage in or permit practices that may encourage immoderate consumption, or serve someone who appears intoxicated. Licensees who violate the legal requirements may face an order of monetary penalty, fines, imprisonment, or have their liquor sales licence suspended or revoked. The LLCA also specifically allows for third parties to claim damages against a licensee who sells or serves liquor to an individual in certain circumstances that would lead to harming that individual, other individuals or property.

Beyond the penalties related to provisions in the LLCA, licensees and their staff may also face the risk of additional civil liability for conduct that causes harm.

Section 32 of the Liquor Licence and Control Act states “No person shall sell or supply liquor or permit liquor to be sold or supplied to any person who is or appears to be intoxicated”.

Section 24 of Regulation 746/21 states “The licensee shall not engage in or permit practices that may tend to encourage patrons’ immoderate consumption of liquor”

Section 52 of the LLCA states “The following rules apply if a person or an agent or employee of a person sells liquor to or for a person whose condition is such that the consumption of liquor would apparently intoxicate the person or increase the person’s intoxication so that he or she would be in danger of causing injury to another person or the property of another person:

If the person to or for whom the liquor is sold commits suicide or meets death by accident while so intoxicated, an action under Part V of the Family Law Act lies against the person who or whose employee or agent sold the liquor.

If the person to or for whom the liquor is sold causes injury or damage to another person or the property of another person while so intoxicated, the other person is entitled to recover an amount as compensation for the injury or damage from the person who or whose employee or agent sold the liquor.” Learn to protect your patrons from harm and your business from compliance actions and potential civil liability.  Educate yourself and your staff about the responsible sale and service of alcohol.

Ensure that your staff take the mandatory Smart Serve responsible beverage server training program and renew their certificate when applicable. Well-trained staff, fully aware of the effects of alcohol and the techniques for dealing with intoxicated patrons can be your best way of avoiding trouble. For more information on training requirements, see the Responsible Liquor Sale, Service and Delivery Training page on the AGCO website at

For more information, please contact AGCO Customer Service anytime via the iAGCO online portal, Monday to Friday from 8:30am-5:00pm at 416-326-8700 or 1-800- 522-2876 (toll-free in Ontario) or visit us online at .

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