Legal responsibility for selling or furnishing liquor:

Selling or serving alcoholic beverages to an adult habitually addicted to alcohol may result in legal responsibility to the server

Unlawfully serving an underage person may result in legal liability content

Serving alcohol to an adult who later injures or damages himself or a third party, may cause the bar or restaurant to have to financially compensate the injured person. To hold the drinking establishment civilly responsible so as to attain financial compensation, the injured party must prove that the tavern knew the person was habitually addicted to the use of alcohol. Proof of knowledge that an adult drinker is habitually addicted may be proved by many different means. One way to prove the saloon’s knowledge of the customer’s addiction to alcohol is by showing the connection between the addicted adult patron and the place serving the alcohol. Another means is to prove knowledge by an employee, such as a bartender or server, of the customer’s addiction to alcohol is by proving the reputation of the customer as a drunkard. If the customer injures himself due to intoxication, that drinking customer may sue the establishment. Also, if an innocent third party is injured by the intoxicated customer, that innocent third party, may sue the tavern or restaurant for his injuries or if death results. It is not required for the bar to have been furnished prior written notice of the drunkard’s addiction to alcohol.

Our firm is representing the widow of a then 31 year old husband and father killed by a drunk driver. The drunken customer showed up at a bodega, after having consumed at least six cans of beer. The drinking establishment served her at least two more beers. She is then thrown out of the bodega. Less than two blocks from the bar the drunk driver, who had a blood alcohol level in excess of the legal limit, turned left into the path of the father who was riding his motorcycle. Our firm has achieved a judgment against the bodega for violating the law of serving adults habitually addicted to alcoholic beverages.

Underage drinker

Serving alcohol to an underage drinker who then injures himself or someone else may result in financial responsibility to the host who served alcohol to the underage drinker. To achieve financial compensation for the injured person, it must be shown that the private host or bar or club knew or should have known the underage drinker was not legally permitted to drink alcohol and despite this knowledge illegally furnished alcohol to the underage drinker. A false identification presented to a club or bar employee may not be enough to exonerate the alcohol server from financial responsibility. A social host is at risk for serving a minor. The bar or club may be legally liable even if the bar or club gave the alcohol for free.

In one case, my firm represented an underage drinker unlawfully served alcohol by a nationwide major restaurant/bar chain located in a shopping mall. As a result of the alcohol, the young person lost her balance as she left the place and broke her arm when she hit the walkway. The bartender served her alcoholic drinks even though she was not wearing a restaurant supplied bracelet used to identify patrons who were of lawful drinking age. The restaurant chain paid a significant financial settlement to the injured customer once we demonstrated the underage drinker did not have the restaurant bracelet when the bartender served her many drinks.

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If you are looking for a liquor liability lawyer in Pembroke Pines/Miramar, contact Law Offices of Oscar Syger!