drink and you are your own worst enemy

The High Court of Australia (HCA) has just delivered a majority 5-0 judgment that confirms the notion that you are your own worst enemy after a few drinks.

The HCA found in the case of C.A.L. No 14 Pty Ltd v Scott [2009] HCA 47, that publicans and more generally, servers of alcohol (licencees), have no general duty of care (except in exceptional circumstances) to monitor and minimise their serving of alcohol to patrons in order to protect them from the consequences of their intoxication. The court overturned the Tasmanian Supreme Court’s decision that the publican was negligent when he returned to a drunk patron the keys to their motorcycle. He subsequently crashed and died.

The message from this decision is that patrons should show responsibility over their own actions. It is definitely not a green light for patrons to get blind drunk, nor for publicans to lose their sense of responsibility when serving alcohol.

So be careful everyone, not that you were not before.

For more information: The Australian


2 responses to “drink and you are your own worst enemy

  1. Frankly, I agree with the HCA… their decision was in line with the principle of volenti non fit injuria and also given the circumstances of the case.

    T’was an interesting little case, really. 😀

  2. I think the courts advocating a more common sense approach is a good thing. It goes hand in hand with the more draconian NSW laws that prohibits the serving of alcohol when you suspect(?) someone’s drunk.

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