Under s50(1) and (2), a person is not to be awarded damages in respect of liability for death, injury or damage, if it is established that at the time of injury the person was intoxicated to the extent their capacity to exercise reasonable care and skill was impaired.
Based on this section, it would seem that the pre-conceptions of being intoxicated at the time of injury are well founded, however the section continues to provide an instance in which damages may be allowed. Under s50(2), it is outlined that the court may award damages if it is satisfied that the death, injury or damage to property was likely to have occurred even if the person had not been intoxicated.
If the court is satisfied that the injury would have occurred regardless of intoxication, it is presumed that the person was contributorily negligent, unless it is determined that the person’s intoxication didn’t play any role in the injury (s50(3)).
In circumstances where the court finds contributory negligence against the Plaintiff, the court must assess the damages on the basis that the damages in which the person would have been entitled in the absence of contributory negligence, will be reduced as a result of the contributory negligence by 25% or greater percentage determined appropriate (s50(4)).