Can Bars be Held Liable for Overserving?

Posted on: September 22, 2021 by RMS Hospitality

Bars are an American institution. Nothing is better than dropping by your favorite watering hole after work, cracking open a cold one, and relaxing with friends. Unfortunately, a night of enjoyment can turn into a night of excess if a patron drinks too much and becomes a problem. In some cases, this can even escalate to a legal liability, which raises the question — are bartenders responsible for drunk people? More specifically, can you be sued for overserving an inebriated customer? These are important questions to ask, and a sports bar insurance program can provide answers.

Bars Shouldn’t Serve Drunk Customers

When attempting to answer the questions mentioned above, one thing should first be clarified — bars should never continue to serve customers who are obviously and excessively drunk. Most people can handle their liquor and simply visit a bar to have a good time, but others will inevitably take their fun too far and put others at risk while doing so. For this reason, bars should never continue serving a customer who displays clear signs of inebriation. Overserving in such an instance is a major liability, even if a bar is covered by a sports bar insurance program.

Intoxication Often Causes Injuries

Another important factor to consider is the fact that intoxication often causes injuries. Any business owner knows that an injury on the premises can turn into a disastrous liability. If a patron claims the business is at fault, legal action could follow, which is costly, inconvenient, and a potential threat to the business. The more alcohol a guest ingests, the higher the likelihood of an injury. Even if injuries are covered under a sports bar insurance program, they should be avoided, and this means that overserving is unacceptable.

DUIs Can Be Deadly

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that around 28 people are killed every day in the U.S. as a result of a drunk driving collision. How many of these lives could have been saved if a bartender had acted responsibly and declined to continue serving a drunk customer? We’ll never know the answer to that question, but it illuminates a simple fact — overserving increases the likelihood of fatalities that can become liabilities.

Bars Can Invest in Protection

Bars face several unique liabilities every day. In many cases, attuned judgment is required to minimize these liabilities while still maintaining a profitable business. Good judgment isn’t enough, though. Bars need additional protection in the form of a sports bar insurance program. Such a policy can help shield bars against accusations of overserving as well as the legal liability that can accompany such a charge. A policy tailored to the needs of a bar business can protect the business from other risks, too, for optimal coverage.

About RMS Hospitality Group

At RMS Hospitality Group, our expertly crafted policies are written specifically for the hospitality industry. We offer custom tailored solutions to meet any venue’s specific needs. For more information, contact our knowledgeable experts today at (888) 359-8390.

Posted in: Sports Bar Insurance

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