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Alcohol Service Regulations and Liability

The U.S. has some of the strictest and most strongly enforced laws regarding alcohol sales in the world. Most people are familiar with the idea of a liquor license, which an establishment must hold in order to legally sell alcoholic beverages. However, almost every state also has regulations concerning the actions of the servers themselves – usually meaning bartenders, waiters, and cashiers.

The specifics of an alcoholic beverage server’s training course will vary from state to state, but will generally follow points such as:

  • How to determine when a person has been drinking too much
  • How to properly check for valid IDs to establish drinking age legality
  • Information on how drinking affects the mind and body
  • Ways to deal with patrons that are visibly intoxicated and/or unruly
  • Laws concerning establishment liability

For a long time, it was assumed that the patron was wholly liable for his or her own behavior, and that the serving establishment could not be held accountable in any degree for simply “doing business.” However, things began to change in the 1970’s and 80’s, when a number of cases came forward, many of them DUI related, in which the seller was determined to have played a significant role in the course of events.

Today, a liquor license and passing these courses essentially loads the owners and servers of an establishment with a certain degree of responsibility. For instance, serving someone who comes to your establishment already visibly intoxicated is a serious offense under these new regulations.

Contact Us

If you have been accused of a DUI, it is important to explore the possible legal liability of any establishment at which you consumed alcohol before the event. Contact Rhode Island DUI defense lawyer Matthew Marin today for more information by calling 401-287-4384.