Edgar Snyder & Associates®
A Law Firm Representing Injured People
1-866-9-4EDGAR
Toll Free 24/7 (1-866-943-3427)
Enter your phone number and we'll call you.
- -
Published on Dec 10, 2010 by Edgar Snyder

What Happens When a Bartender or Waitperson Serves Alcohol to Someone Who Appears Drunk?

serving alcohol to intoxicated patrons

Earlier this week, a 7-year-old girl was killed in a car accident on the South Side when a drunk driver hit her family's car head-on on East Carson Street. The driver blew a 0.219 on his Breathalyzer test – the legal limit for driving in Pennsylvania is 0.08.

This is an indescribable tragedy, and one so easily avoided. Most obviously there was the driver's poor decision to get behind the wheel. If he had called a cab or rode home with a designated driver, the accident wouldn't have happened.

Then there's the part of this that you may not be familiar with – Pennsylvania's Dram Shop Statute. Under this law, a licensed drinking establishment can be held liable for injuries caused by intoxication if they served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or to a minor. Put simply, bars and restaurants are not supposed to serve alcohol to people who they can see are drunk.

It's been reported that the driver was drinking at a South Side bar for three hours prior to the accident, consuming a half-gallon of beer. The bar manager said he's questioning employees to find out if anyone saw the driver "acting drunk."

If our state's track record is any indication, however, it doesn't appear that the Dram Shop Statute will be enforced. Pennsylvania's Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement hasn't cited any South Side bars for serving visibly intoxicated people in at least 18 months. WTAE-TV, a local Pittsburgh news station, even conducted an undercover investigation last year, and bar after bar served alcohol to the investigator, who displayed slurred speech and fell off of barstools.

So why isn't anything being done? The biggest problem is that southwestern PA's Liquor Control Enforcement team is short-staffed, with 11 vacancies due to a hiring freeze. This leaves 21 officers to serve six counties.

Let's hope that justice is served in this case and that all responsible parties are held accountable. Unfortunately, no amount of justice will ever bring that little girl back to her family.
As you celebrate the holidays -- and all year round -- I urge you to PLEASE DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE.

Think you have a case?
Think you have a case?
Free Case Review

First Name

Last Name

City

State

ZIP

Phone

- -

Email

Age

Is an attorney currently handling this case?

Yes No

Briefly describe your injuries


Recent News

Jul 31, 2014
Pradaxa Blood Thinner's Unknown Side Effects
Jul 31, 2014
Driving Deaths Down in States with Texting and Driving Laws
Jul 28, 2014
Pesticides and Weed Killers Can Stick Around for Years
Jul 28, 2014
More Chrysler Problems with Latest Jeep Recall
Jul 24, 2014
Listeria Prompts Walmart, Costco, Trader Joe's, Wegmans Recalls
Awards & Memberships
Awards and Memberships
rating-leave