Alcohol consumption is often a social activity. People start drinking with their friends and goad each other into the consumption of a possibly irresponsible amount of alcohol. It’s more acceptable to many people to drink with others or in public than it is to drink alone or at home.
If people go out to bars or restaurants to drink, the staff serving them alcohol should monitor their behavior carefully. Signs of impairment, such as stumbling when walking, slurred speech or obviously impaired cognition are all signs that someone has had too much to drink.
When someone who has been drinking for a while orders another cocktail while clearly already impaired, the staff has an obligation to stop serving them when they are visibly drunk.
When businesses break alcohol laws, they take on extra liabilities
Obviously, bars and restaurants have a profit motive to get people to consume as much as possible while visiting. As such, the state has created rules regarding the sale of alcohol for on-premises consumption.
Businesses must verify that those consuming alcohol are 21 years of age or older. They also must cease serving someone when they show signs of intoxication. Businesses that violate either of these rules may be liable for financial losses suffered by third parties if the drunk patron gets behind the wheel of a car after being over-served and causes a crash.
Under dram shop or social host rules, those who illegally furnish minors with alcohol or give drinks to people who are visibly drunk can be responsible for the damages those patrons cause. If you or your loved one suffered an injury due to someone who was drunk, you may have a case against the establishment that served them. Find out more about your options as you move forward.