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Sandy’s Law

What is Sandy’s Law?

Sandy’s Law, Bill 43, is an amendment to the Liquor Licence Act. It is a private member’s bill that was introduced by MPP Ernie Parsons of Prince Edward – Hastings County (Ontario), and was inspired by his late son, Sandy, who had Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

How does Sandy’s Law affect licenced establishments?

As of February 1, 2005, all establishments in Ontario that serve or sell liquor were required to display signs cautioning women who are pregnant that the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is the leading cause of FASD.

Who needs to post the warning sign?

Restaurants and bars licensed to sell beverage alcohol (wine, beer and spirits); LCBO stores and other retail stores authorized to sell beverage alcohol (i.e., The Beer Store; wine, beer and spirits manufacturers´ stores, including occasional extensions of on-site winery retail stores within farmers’ markets; grocery stores authorized to sell liquor to the public); and Licensed ferment on premise facilities.

What are the warning sign requirements?

The warning sign must be at least 8 by 10 inches in size. It must be prominently displayed in all locations where beverage alcohol is sold or where customers brew their own wine or beer for take home consumption. The sign can be displayed in color or black and white.

What is the penalty if a licenced establishment does not post the warning sign?

Failure to comply with the signage requirements is an offence under the Liquor Licence Act, with a maximum penalty of a $250,000 fine for a corporation, or a $100,000 fine and/or imprisonment for up to one year for an individual.

How do licenced establishments get the warning sign?

Establishments will be expected to print their own signs, which can be viewed and printed here. Warning signs and mirror stickers are also available through the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit by calling 519-426-6170 Ext. 3274 or 905-318-6623 Ext. 3274.

For questions about your obligations under the Liquor Licence Act, please contact the Alcohol and Gaming Commission at 1-800-522-2876.

Adapted from the Restaurant Rapport Alcohol & Pregnancy’ newsletter developed by the Brant County Health Unit.