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Christmas decorations are up in stores, reminding us that the year is drawing to a close. Whether or not businesses choose to shut down over the December period, most businesses choose to throw their annual year-end staff parties between now and year end. For many companies, this is an opportunity for all staff members to get together to celebrate the highs and lows of the year, for staff to be rewarded for their efforts, and to generally eat, drink and be merry. Year-end functions are celebrations and, typically, alcohol is freely available. While this means staff are able to let their hair down and over-imbibe, it also means many people are intoxicated before they get behind the wheel of a car. Rules and regulations The Occupational Health and Safety Act — and most company policies — forbid alcohol consumption and drunkenness on work premises during working hours, however, there are no such rules for after-hours parties, especially at off-site premises where most year-end function...

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