The dangers related to serving customers too much alcohol are serious and should be evaluated for every given situation. Most states impose regulations and penalties on those who serve too much alcohol to patrons under almost all circumstances, and this also goes for hotels, restaurants, bars and other companies that regularly serve alcoholic beverages.
Most states will however distinguish between providing negligent and reckless service. Others still base liability on what the licensee knew or should have known in the dispensing of drinks containing alcohol to their customers. The problem stems from the furnishing of alcohol resulting in the cause of any injury, death or damages caused by an intoxicated person. Having liquor liability insurance for bars greatly reduces the personal risk of bar owners and their staff. Without it, the cost of paying fines and additional penalties could potentially bankrupt a business.
Your employees are the first line of defense
Your employees need proper training with regards to how much alcohol a single patron should be allowed to consume over a certain period of time. They are, after all, the only people standing between potential liability issues and the success or failure of your business. Bartenders, hosts, and servers must put the financial interests of the owner first in order to avoid serious exposures.
Some customers don’t know their limitations, may prefer stronger drinks, and drink at a fast pace. Unfortunately, an inebriated customer may become sick, violent, or disoriented. They may also reach the point where they may pose a danger if he or she were to get behind the wheel of a car. Regardless of the results, you could end up responsible for any damages due to drunkenness.
Servers and bartenders should communicate to one another if they see a potential liability issue springing up. Certain behavior could be viewed as an indicator to refuse drinks to someone who has reached their “perceived” limit. If the patron becomes combative it might be advised to ask them to leave or have a peace officer summoned to remedy the situation.
It is in your best interests to avoid any situation that may expose your business to liability concerns. You probably already realize how important liquor liability insurance for bars is, but speak to an agent to determine if you have sufficient coverage in place.