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Over Serving Alcohol Lawsuits - Bar Liability

overserving alcohol in bars liability

Spending a night on the town or hitting the local bar after work can be a time for relaxation but can easily turn into a nightmare, and fortunately Bisnar Chase Los Angeles Premise Liability Lawyers are there when you need them most.

You Know When to Stop But Does the Bartender?

Getting home safely is the biggest concern to those who decide to have an alcoholic beverage. It is a concern of their own safety and those around them. When people are enjoying their alcoholic beverages after work or at dinner and realize it's about time they leave, finding a safe way home is the responsible thing to do, for themselves and the innocent lives around them.

Typically, when someone is drinking heavily and has become intoxicated to the point they are becoming a danger to themselves and the public, the bartender has the responsibility to "cut them off," and help them find a safe way home.

Bartenders are not always responsible with the amount of alcohol they serve to people regardless of their level of intoxication. Many times bartenders will over serve alcohol to keep the party going, attracting more potential customers with the energetic and party vibe the establishment has going.

Unfortunately, the more intoxicated individuals, the more possible dangers, whether they are driving or not.

Being Intoxicated in Public is Dangerous

Many think that as long as they stay out from behind the wheel of a vehicle, walking home drunk is perfectly okay, when in fact this is very wrong, dangerous, and could get you into a mess of trouble.

Under California Penal Code 647f, drunk in public is a misdemeanor offense. A misdemeanor offense is punishable with a fine of less than $1000 and jail term of less than 12 months. Persons convicted of 647f can be sent to jail for up to six months, fined up to $1000 and sentenced to informal probation.

Drunk pedestrians can be an extreme danger to themselves, others and property. Many troubling situations intoxicated individuals get into can consist of the following:

  • Getting injured or killed by traffic
  • Causing distractions
  • Causing vehicle and pedestrian accidents
  • Damage to personal and public property
  • Violent situations
  • Theft and criminal activity
  • Disturbing the peace

Alcohol Serving Liability

Establishments that are licensed to sell alcohol to the public have many possible liabilities when it comes to those who purchase and consume alcohol on their premises.

Intoxicated individuals have the tendency to become wild, reckless, inconsiderate, loud, abusive, distracting and many other unfavorable traits that can many times lead to violent, troublesome or dangerous situations. Over serving alcohol will only increase the risks of dangerous situations. This is why it is smart for bars, restaurants, entertainment venues and other alcohol serving establishments to have great insurance and Liability Attorneys.

Possible liabilities these drinking establishments can face consist of the following:

  • Slips and falls
  • Collapsable structures
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Allergic reactions
  • Underaged drinking and false identities
  • Personal injury
  • Injuries to others
  • Death
  • Man slaughter
  • Homicide
  • Drinking and driving (DUI's)
  • Public intoxication
  • Drunk and disorderly conduct
  • Disturbing the peace
  • Damage to personal property
  • Theft and robbery
  • Rape and sexual assault
  • Violent crimes
  • Criminal activity

Bartenders Liable for Drunk Driving

Bartenders are in charge of making drinks for customers of their establishment. They are also in charge of maintaining a safe environment for everyone, as well as making sure intoxicated individuals are not leaving with the intention of driving.

If a bartender overserves an individual and allows them to leave knowing the intoxicated person plans on driving a vehicle, reckless endangerment could be a factor, especially if the intoxicated person happens to get injured, injures or kills someone else, causes property damage or become in trouble with the law.

A bartender can also be charged with reckless endangerment if they are over serving alcohol to an individual who ends up experiencing a health problem and fails to provide sufficient medical care or neglects to contact medical services immediately.

Penalties for Over Serving Alcohol to Intoxicated Persons

Every state is different, but a licensed person who is found guilty of over serving an intoxicated individual can face some serious penalties including:

  • Thousands of dollars in fines and fees
  • One year and more of imprisonment
  • Suspension and termination
  • Could potentially face murder, assault, man slaughter charges and others if convicted
  • Civilly responsible for damages to personal property, injuries, fatalities, catastrophic events, medical costs and more

Liquor Liability Insurance

It's important for drinking establishments, bars and restaurants to have the appropriate liability insurance to ensure they are not accountable for the actions and situations of a sober or intoxicated individual. The situations they may experience or create as they leave, enter or loiter inside and or outside the establishmennt can cause a legal headache for employees, property owners and management, reiterating the importance of aquiring liability insurance and or "dram" insurance.

What is Dram Insurance?

Dram Shop Liability is the Same Thing as Liquor Liability Insurance. Dram shop is a legal term that refers to bars, pubs, taverns, and similar venues where alcoholic beverages are sold or consumed. Historically, dram shop referred to places where alcohol was sold by the dram, (a small quantity of liquid).

Visit General Liability Shop learn more about Liquor Liability Insurance.

Drunk Driving Taking Innocent Lives

"When Cathy Dewitt, Cody’s mom, visualized her oldest son’s high school graduation she dreamed a time of joy, celebration, and planning ahead for the next stage of his life. Cathy was excited about the numerous possibilities for Cody; she never imagined that she would sit next to an empty chair covered with flowers and an unworn cap and gown."

An introduction to one of the many Victim Stories on MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). Many of these stories of loved ones being taken away from this world too soon are heart-wrenching, but many are inspiring, uplifting and motivating.

Scary Drunk Driving Facts

Drinking and driving is one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents and pedestrian fatalities, yet is a very avoidable situation if everyone took the necessary precautions.

  • In 2015, 10,265 people died in drunk driving crashes - one every 51 minutes - and 290,000 were injured in drunk driving crashes
  • Drunk driving costs the United States $132 billion a year
  • Every two minutes a person is injured in a drunk driving crash
  • On average two to three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime
  • In 2013, 28.7 million people admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol - that’s more than the population of Texas
  • The rate of drunk driving is highest among 26 to 29 year olds (20.7 percent)
  • 50 to 75 percent of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspendid license
  • Only Time will sober a person up. Drinking strong coffee, exercising or taking a cold shower will not help
  • Every day in america, another 27 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes
  • In the United States, the number of drunk driving deaths has been cut in half since MADD was founded in 1980

For more information on drunk driving, how to prevent it, events and how you can get involved to help end drunk driving, visit

How to Report a Bar for Over Serving

A bartender over serving alcohol to it's patrons can be a dangerous situation, for the intoxicated individual, the bartender, and the bar owner. If you see misconduct, over serving or any other types of negligence, report it to the bar or establishment owner immediately.

If you observe an intoxicated individual leaving in a vehicle, immediately contact the police by dialing 911. Try and get the make, model and color of the vehicle and a license plate if possible. Avoid any contact with the person or vehicle if they are acting in an aggresive manner.

To file a report or to learn more about laws, rules and regulations, you can contact the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control.

If you have been injured or experienced the loss of a loved one due to an alcohol related situation, call the highly successful Premise Liability Attorneys at Bisnar Chase at 323-238-4683.

Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys
Brian Chase and John Bisnar 6701 Center Drive West, 14th Fl.
Los Angeles, CA 90045

(323) 238-4683

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