It’s officially grad and wedding season in Alberta, and it’s also one of the busiest times of the year for limos. But have you ever wondered what the laws are if your party bus or limousine gets into an accident? What happens if you are injured? Are there rules for drinking onboard? We consulted our lawyers at Litco Law to find out the answers.
Champagne on… the road?
Did you know that it is illegal to drink in a limousine or party bus in certain provinces in Canada, such as Ontario? The rules on this vary from province to province but currently, in Alberta, drinking in a limo or party bus is only allowed if:
- The operator has a liquor license – Many limousine or party bus operators are fully AGLC licensed, but not all. Without this license, they cannot legally provide alcohol. If you plan to drink on route, check with the limo or bus company to ensure they have a liquor license when you are booking your rental. With the exception of wine, any alcohol that is purchased, provided, or consumed in a licensed vehicle must be from the licensee.
- Everyone on board is legal drinking age – While there are no age restrictions for riding in a limousine, no minors are allowed if alcohol is present at the same time. In Alberta, the legal drinking age is 18 years of age or older.
What if I am injured in a limousine or party bus crash?
If you are injured in a limo or party bus accident, you can typically file a Personal Injury claim against the responsible party. But what happens if your driver was partially responsible for the accident? In this case, you may file a claim against all responsible drivers. In Alberta, in the unlikely event that the driver of your limo or party bus was uninsured, involved in a hit-and-run, or hit by an uninsured driver, you may still have an avenue of compensation through the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act (MVAC).
What are the safety standards for your party bus or limousine?
Both the City of Calgary and the City of Edmonton have bylaws in place to ensure that all vehicle-for-hire services such as taxis, limousines, and ridesharing companies are regulated and meet safety standards. As a passenger, here’s what you should know:
- The limousine or party bus driver must be fully licensed to drive the vehicle. The driver’s ID (or name, and current photo) should always be posted in a visible location. It is typically placed on the driver’s visor. If you are unable to see the driver’s ID, you can ask to see it.
- With the exception of limousine service at the Calgary and Edmonton Airports, drivers are not permitted to pick up customers who hail them on the street or seek out business by approaching potential customers. All trips should be booked in advance.
- All ride-for-hire vehicles must undergo routine mechanical inspection for safety reasons.
In Alberta, you generally have up to two years from the date of an accident to make a claim in court, or your right to do so may be lost forever. Although you have a two-year window, it’s important not to wait, as there could be other important deadlines or other circumstances that may affect your claim.
Have questions? Just give us a call or fill out our contact form online, and we’ll reach out to you.