Cambridge restaurant fined $50K for overserving alcohol prior to fatal crash
A Cambridge restaurant has been fined $50,000 for overserving alcohol to a man who caused a fatal crash.
A judge issued the fine on Thursday morning.
Last month, St. Louis Bar and Grill pleaded guilty to two counts under the Ontario Liquor Licensing Act, including permitting drunkenness on a licensed premises and selling liquor to an intoxicated person.
The plea stemmed from a fatal crash in November 2019 that killed 67-year-old Ken Scott. Scott was driving home when another vehicle crossed the centre line on Townline Road and crashed into his vehicle head-on.
Jason Fach pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death. He is currently serving a six-year sentence.
The agreed statement of facts said Fach was served five 20 ounce beers in a little more than an hour at St. Louis Bar and Grill prior to the crash.
The restaurant has two years to pay the fine. The maximum penalty under the Ontario Liquor Licensing Act is $250,000.
“The sentencing is not so much about punishment as it is deterrence and prevention," the judge told court Thursday. "There must be a clear message that our communities will not tolerate this kind of tragedy.”
John LeClair, a friend of Scott, said that $50,000 is a lot of money for the restaurant.
"But, it's not a lot of money when you lose somebody's life," he said.
He said he'd like to see bars get heavier fines to set precedents.
"The bars themselves are serving people that are intoxicated, and it has to stop," he said.
"Kenneth Scott’s death was a tragedy and the owners of the St. Louis Bar and Grill offer their heartfelt condolences to his friends and family, all of whom were greatly impacted by his untimely death," the owners of St. Louis Bar and Grill said in a statement. "St. Louis would like to thank Judge Rabley for his thoughtful sentencing decision. His Honour credited St. Louis for appropriately staffing the restaurant on the night of this tragic accident, for ensuring that its servers were Smart Serve certified and provided with additional training in the dangers of overserving patrons, and for the restaurant’s cooperation with the investigation into the death of Mr. Scott and throughout the ongoing prosecution and sentencing. Along with His Honour, the owners of the St. Louis Bar and Grill hope that this sentencing brings closure to the friends and loved ones of Kenneth Scott."