Alcohol

  1. What are the rules on alcohol use?

    The Liquor Licence Act (LLA) makes rules about the use of alcohol in Ontario. Here are some important things to know about the rules in the LLA:

    • Only people over the age of 19 can legally consume alcohol, subject to the exception described below
    • People under the age of 19 can consume alcohol only if it is supplied to them by their parent or legal guardian and it is consumed in their home in the presence of the parent or legal guardian.
    • The legal age for someone to be employed to sell or serve alcohol is 18.
    • It is illegal to sell alcohol products to someone under age 19.
    • It is illegal to use a fake ID to obtain alcohol. It is also illegal to use someone else’s ID as your own to obtain alcohol.
    • You cannot have an opened bottle of liquor in a public place.
    • You cannot be intoxicated in a public place.

    If you break any of the laws, you may receive a ticket. Ticket amounts vary widely depending on the incident, but the general amount for a first offence is $70.00. If you receive a ticket under the Liquor Licence Act and you cannot afford to pay the fine, you can always oppose the fine in court and ask to have it reduced to something you can afford to pay.

  2. Police powers to take alcohol

    A police officer may take anything he or she believes to be evidence of a Liquor Licence Act offence, which may include empty bottles and drinking glasses that have been used for drinking alcohol. The officer can also take things used in committing the offence if it is necessary to prevent their further use, for example, alcohol that is being provided to underage persons. Any proceeds gained from the offence, such as money from selling liquor without a licence, can also be taken.

  3. Being arrested?

    You can be arrested under the Liquor Licence Act if the police feel that they need to find out your correct name and address, if you are intoxicated in public or a place “used in common by others”, and it is necessary for the safety of any person.

    If arrested, you should immediately ask to speak to a lawyer or duty counsel. You should not make any statements before you have had the opportunity to speak with a lawyer.