Society Magazine

Liquor Liabilities

Posted on the 28 September 2011 by Micmad @immicmad
   Thereare many liabilities that come into place when dealing with liquor. Dram Shopor liquor liability cases may arise from negligent acts involving alcohol. Thephrase “dram shop” comes from England, where gin was sold by the spoonful, or“dram.” Dram shop falls into two categories: Selling to an under-aged person,or selling to an intoxicated person. This may apply to bars, restaurants, orconcert venues, and can lead to drunk-driving accidents and other seriousrisks. Drinking and driving have taken numerous lives and strict punishmentsare in place for those that are convicted.
One recent alcohol related deathwas Actor Ryan Dunn who was drinking with his friend and passenger ZacharyHartwell. According to reports the two were drinking at a bar before they wereinvolved in a high-speed car accident after leaving the establishment. Reportswould later reveal that Dunn had a blood alcohol level, which was more thantwice the legal limit in Pennsylvania when he crashed his Porsche. Onceintoxicated, the bar should not have continued to serve Dunn, the driver of thevehicle, nor allowed him to leave and drive home. Sgt. Torre of LiquorEnforcement from Pennsylvania State Police Bureau stated no charges would befiled against the Barnaby’s of America bar. The bar has a sign that hangs aboveit which reads, “If you appear to be intoxicated, we cannot serve you anyalcohol.” Employees of the bar told press that Dunn “spoke clearly” and “walkedclearly” when he was at Barnaby’s. Hours before Dunn’s death, he would send outa photo via twitter from the bar drinking with friends. It would later bedeleted. “No charges would ever be filed against the Barnaby’s of America barin Pennsylvania because Dunn did not “appear” intoxicated,” according toreports. A jury in Norcross, GA. awarded a $40million verdict to the parents of two teenagers that were killed in a drunkdriving accident. Claudine Wilkins the attorney in the case said, “Thisverdict, we hope, sends an important message to those who drink and drive andthose who provide or sell alcohol. People who throw parties in their home areliable under the Liquor Liability laws too.” She hoped the award being sizableenough to make bar owners think twice before they let their patrons terrorizethe roadways after they’ve been drinking. “The courts can come after them foreverything they’ve got,” said Kenny Shackleford, father of ChristopherShackleford one of the victims. Wilkins represented other catastrophic injuryand liquor liability cases, which made the former prosecuting attorney aims toraise the roof on bars, convenience stores and party hosts who allow patronsand or friends become a lethal weapon when drinking and then getting behind thewheel. Sergio Montelongo Sanchez, who was an illegal alien, would be convictedin July 2001 of vehicular homicide for killing three teenagers and cripplingthe fourth victim in a car crash after drinking. The case centered not only onthe drunk driver, but also the bar where the defendant had been drinking.Sanchez, who was a minor at the time, allegedly had been served 10 to 15 beersthat night at Marietta bar. He staggered out of the bar at 1 a.m. and was inthe accident less than a mile away from Dos Naciones and killed threepassengers. Wilkins, known in area as an expert in Dram Shop (Liquor LiabilityCase) law, has written articles about specialized laws for providers ofalcohol, punitive damages that can be enforced for alcohol related claims, andother controversial issues. Wilkins said “I want to ensure that more cases likethis one reach a verdict that holds the offender and the establishmentsaccountable.” Sanchez was 20 years old, did not have a record, or a previousDUI incident. Sanchez hadn’t ever been in trouble with the law before. Now hewill not continue on with a normal life until he is in his sixties. Rapper Snoop Dogg and his May 2011endorsement of Blast by Colt 45, which is a fruity malt- liquor made by PabstBrewing Company, drew a blast of free publicity. Blast, is coming under fire bypromoting to minors.  Blastcontains 12% alcohol by volume and comes in flavors like grape, raspberry,watermelon, blueberry pomegranate, and strawberry lemonade, which smacked theattorneys as “youth-friendly.” Attorney generals from 16 states and Guam signeda letter demanding Pabst’s CEO cut back the drink’s alcohol content. Blast isbeing compared to Four Loko, which is a similar drink that came under fireafter several college students were hospitalized after drinking it. The Foodand Drug Administration (FDA) successfully got Four Loko’s parent company toremove the caffeine from the product. When it comes to dram shop laws andliquor liability all parties have to remain diligent in its efforts to not sellto minors, and not sell to any intoxicated person. If so they will have a heftybill and heavy conscious. Bartenders and cashiers are the first line of defensewhen it comes to consumption and must keep a keen eye, check IDs and know whensomeone has had too many.

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