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Getting together with friends, co-workers and family at a restaurant, bar or tavern can be fun, especially during the holidays or other special times. What may not be so fun is when someone drinks too much, thus becoming visibly intoxicated. Bartenders are responsible for cutting off inebriated customers because they can be liable for over-serving. What you need to know about Dram Shop Law.
One of the downsides of bartending is having to tell a visibly intoxicated customer that it is time to call it quits for the night.
Letting a visibly intoxicated person continue to drink could lead to:
In most states, bars and similar establishments are liable for over-serving customers. In fact, 38 states (including Missouri) have Dram Shop laws that relate to serving those who are intoxicated. Should a bar continue to serve an intoxicated customer who then causes an accident after leaving, the bar itself could share the liability.
In essence, cutting off drunk customers is not just a policy of the establishment, it is the law.
When you have questions, we are here to help. Call us at (877) 284-6600.
In general, a bar can be liable for over-serving alcohol if the establishment knew or should have known that the customer was so intoxicated that more alcohol would cause danger to him/herself or others.
Critical factors in Missouri dram shop law are
Be sure to look at your own state’s Dram Shop Law.
How can a bartender or server know when someone is visibly intoxicated? Signs include, but not limited to:·
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published December 18, 2019. It was reviewed on November 9, 2022 and updated for content and accuracy.