Alcohol Safety

Category - Legal

One of Brandon’s regular bar patrons has been sitting at the bar for hours and has already had several pints of his favorite beer. The man keeps asking for refills, which Brandon gets for him because the man does not appear to be getting intoxicated. When the man leaves, he accidentally drives into another car, resulting in the death of himself and two others. Is Brandon still responsible even though the man did not show any visible signs of intoxication?
  1. No. The law only covers what a bartender/server can visually observe.
  2. No. The only person who can be considered responsible is the driver.
  3. Yes. Brandon is still responsible because he should have been monitoring how many drinks the customer had consumed rather than just how drunk he seemed.
  4. No. In this case it is Brandon’s supervisor who bears the responsibility.
Answer: C - Yes. A bartender can still be held responsible if he or she continues serving an intoxicated customer who does not show any visible signs of intoxication.

This question is actually based on an entirely real case in which a bartender kept serving one of his regulars because the man did not seem to be intoxicated. The regular then got into a car accident on his way home from the bar, killing himself and two young people. Toxicology reports showed that he had consumed about the equivalent of 17 drinks. The bartender was meanwhile sentenced to 180 days in jail and a fine on top of paying the court costs of the victims’ families. The bar he worked at also lost its liquor license and had to close.
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