Christmas Parties, The Oil Patch,
And DUIs In Alberta

While there is little time for play in Fort McMurray, the end of the year signals to the always highly anticipated company Christmas party. While employers use the event as a way to show appreciation to staff, there are pitfalls that can be suffered when alcohol is involved. As there is always a token staff member who will likely embarrass themselves after too many drinks, there is also the serious concern that everyone gets home safe.

As an employer, you need to be aware of your responsibilities to your employees, as well as your legal liabilities. Serving alcohol at a corporate event places an employer in a similar status to a commercial host such as a restaurant, lounge, or bar. In the result of a serious motor vehicle accident involving a recent party guest, the employer can be found liable in contributing to the accident. For employees leaving a Christmas party after drinking, being stopped by the RCMP at a checkstop in Fort McMurray can result in charges for drinking and driving, heavy fines, possible jail time, and the loss of one’s license. This can have a dire impact on a person’s career if they work in the oil industry.

If you are planning, or simply attending, a company Christmas party this year there are a few guidelines that you may find helpful in keeping members of your company safe.

Rules For A Safe Company Christmas Party

  • Provide non-alcoholic drink options.
  • Provide food to balance alcohol consumption.
  • Use certified bartenders who are independently insured.
  • Provide a taxi chit service at the company’s expense for event transport.
  • Invitations should clearly state that employees should use taxis if they will be drinking at the party.
  • Invitations should clearly state that employee attendance is not mandatory.
  • Restrict the amount of alcohol that is available.
  • Issue drink tickets to regulate the “reasonable” number of drinks per person.
  • Consider holding the party at a hotel, where guests may be able to stay the night.
  • Appoint managers to casually monitor guests’ alcohol intake.
  • Have managerial staff watch for any employees who appear to be intoxicated and arrange for taxis for them.
  • Stop serving alcohol 1 hour before closing the party.
  • Avoid drinking with employees at other sites after the party.

Charged With Drunk Driving In Alberta This Holiday Season?

In the midst of the holiday season is no shortage of Christmas parties for work, friends, and family. And these events always include ‘Christmas cheer’. In any event, it is important to apply discretion with consuming alcohol, as local police authorities are on heightened alert for individuals who are driving impaired. A drunk driving charge in Alberta can be devastating for your family, community relationships, your career, and ability to travel to the US. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact our drunk driving lawyers in Fort McMurray. Our criminal defence team can help you defend your rights while possibly having your charges dropped or reduced. Call us immediately and don’t waste time protecting your future.

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Posted on December 10th, 2013