The Steveston Hotel Case

The Steveston Hotel Case

Introduction

The Steveston Hotel case holds the highest portion of blame ever given to a bar in a drunk driving civil suit in British Columbia. Upon appeal, the decision was still upheld by the BC Supreme Court. 20-year-old Harry McWilliams went to drink beer at the Steveston Hotel, near Richmond, in Steveston but was involved in a fatal car crash on his way home (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, n.p.). There have been numerous court cases in British Columbia, implicating bars sued for ignoring their obligation to look after their intoxicated clients. This essay will analyze the Steveston Hotel Case and the reasons why I support the verdict.

Do you agree with the verdict?

Yes

Why or why not?

I agree with the verdict because profit-making drinking businesses have a constitutional duty to cap the number of drinks consumed by their clients, to avert too much intoxication. They have a moral duty to take care of their drunk customers. More than 57% of all drivers who lost their lives in road accidents and later tested positive for drugs, also tested positive for alcohol (Mothers Against Drunk Driving, n.p.). Most of these drivers consume above the legal level in restaurants and bars. The verdict will greatly help in reducing road carnage, and as a result, many bars will enforce similar measures that will save lives.

Lawyer Jim McNeney (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, n.p.) said that the staff at the bar ignored pleas by a 17-year-old girl who was asking for their help to stop him from driving while drunk. The lawyer added that McWilliams was so drunk; he was unsteady as he walked out of the bar towards his car. The bar staff should have helped McWilliams to get a cab home, instead of allowing him to drive himself home.

Conclusion

Bars have a responsibility to ensure that their intoxicated clients find a safe means to get home. The reason why the court settled on giving the Steveston Hotel the highest proportion of blame, is because despite the 17-year-old girl requesting the staff at the bar and other patrons to help Mr. McWilliams to find a secure means of transport to take him home, they neglected that responsibility. The hotel staff failed in restraining the first accused from driving himself.

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