Sayer Regan & Thayer, LLP
Let us put our decades of
experience to work for you!

Why over-serving laws work

Laws against over-serving are designed to prevent drunk driving accidents. Essentially, these laws make it illegal for a bar or other such establishment to keep selling drinks to someone who is clearly intoxicated already. Obviously, that's a bit of a judgment call on the behalf of the establishment, but it provides a goal to shoot for.

These laws are controversial. There are those who claim people should be allowed to make their own choices and buy as much as they want. The counter, of course, is that those who are intoxicated may not be making rational decisions and therefore are not really doing what they desire.

Time and time again, these laws have been shown to work. One reason is that places with these laws often have fewer Happy Hour promotions and other drink specials that encourage people to buy and drink as much as possible. Since these promotions often come with a time limit -- like Happy Hour from 4-7 p.m. -- they could encourage over-serving, as people may buy extra drinks to "save" money. Studies found that people averaged 1.6 extra drinks during these promotions.

The biggest reason these laws work, though, is that bars are businesses. At the end of the day, the goals for the bar are purely financial. These laws, which could make them liable for over-serving, mean they could lose out financially if there is an incident. This offsets the financial gain of selling more drinks and encourages the bars to screen people more thoroughly.

It's important for those who have been injured in alcohol-related incidents to know when and how the establishment itself could be liable for the actions of the patrons. If this has happened to you, it may be possible to seek compensation.

Source: MADD, "Dram Shop and Social Host Liability," accessed Dec. 23, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Our Attorneys

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy