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A Bartender’s Responsibility and Liability

IL defense lawyerIt happens every day: a person goes to an establishment that serves alcohol, consumes enough to be intoxicated, then drives home, but gets in an accident or stopped by the police for DUI. What leads to the result is drinking too much alcohol. The person who drank the beverages carries the majority of the burden of the outcome. However, bartenders, servers, and business owners may share some of the responsibility.

Illinois Dram Shop Laws

“Dram shop” is derived from a time in our past when liquor establishments used a “dram” as a standard unit of alcohol measurement. Now, 43 states, including Illinois, have dram shop laws which hold business owners, bartenders, and servers financially accountable if someone drinks too much at their establishment then injures or kills someone or causes property damage. All responsible parties risk being sued if the business serves someone that is “obviously and visibly” drunk. Not only that, but those responsible may also face criminal charges. It is a Class A Misdemeanor to sell, give, or deliver alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person. Penalties include fines between $500 and $2,500 and a year in jail. Also, liquor licenses can be fined, suspended, and even revoked.

Common Visible Signs of Intoxication

Short of monitoring each patron’s drink count, how much they ate, their body composition, and a wide variety of factors that influence intoxication, it is difficult to determine if someone has had too much to drive home. Intoxication is not always visible, either, making it harder. Although bartenders are not required to know a customer’s BAC, they should know some of these common signs of inebriation.

  • Flushed face;
  • Careless with money;
  • Sudden changes in mood or behavior;
  • Difficulty standing or walking;
  • Slurred speech;
  • Increased speaking volume;
  • Spilling drinks;
  • Swaying, staggering, or stumbling; and
  • Excessive sweating.

Get an Attorney

If you or your business served alcohol to someone that went on to injure or kill another person, it is crucial to your future and the future of your business to retain the services of an esteemed attorney. Determining sobriety is the responsibility of the person choosing to drink as well as anyone accompanying them. Without knowing the history of the patron and the rest of their daily activities, it is challenging for a stranger, such as a server or a bartender, to determine that person’s limit. The attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC will aggressively negotiate on your behalf to ensure you retain your rights. Lessen the chance of a conviction by contacting a knowledgeable and experienced DuPage County DUI attorney today. Call 630-580-6373 today to get started with your personalized consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.oregon.gov/OLCC/docs/publications/50_signs_visible_intoxication.pdf

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/CircuitCourt/CivilJuryInstructions/150.00.pdf

https://www.illinois.gov/ilcc/All%20documents%20site%20wide/Education/Under%2021/Consequences/JustFactsWeb.pdf

 

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