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The Dangers of Drinking and Driving

Drinking and driving remains a far too frequent occurrence. There can be catastrophic consequences, as shown in the case of Hummel v. Jantzi.

Some friends met at a house and consumed alcohol. They then went to a bar to watch a Stanley Cup hockey game. The bar had a special of 12 beers for $12.

After consuming around 20 cups of beer at the bar, the defendant, Jantzi, drove his group of friends to a grocery store and then to a house.

Jantzi and the plaintiff then went out to buy cigarettes. While driving, Jantzi was speeding, ran a stop sign, left the roadway, and hit a tree.

The plaintiff sustained serious injuries, including a skull fracture. He will never work again and requires constant supervisory care.

Justice Taylor found Jantzi 80% liable and the bar 20% liable. The bar did not follow Smart Serve protocols and had no meaningful policy in place to guard against drinking and driving.

Contributory negligence of 25% was found on the plaintiff for not wearing a seatbelt, entering a vehicle with an impaired driver, and encouraging Jantzi to drive faster. The bar was found 20% liable for this contributory negligence for over-serving the plaintiff.

The total damages were assessed at approximately $12 million.