Preventing a ‘Liquor Liability’ Claim... 8 Best-Practice Strategies - Rekerdres and Associates
Liquor Liability Exposures

For establishments that provide alcohol, owners can be held liable for an incident stemming from beverage service

Situations like…

An intoxicated patron continues to be served. In his disoriented state he injures himself, needs costly emergency treatment, and seeks $30,000 to reimburse medical bills.
A minor is served, his intoxicated actions cause a bar fight, and the parents sue you for $100,000 for damages caused.
A patron is moderately intoxicated, drives home, and causes a car accident that leaves 2 victims severely injured. The victim’s families sue you for $1m for over-serving.


Benefits of Loss-Prevention

Liquor liability situations can turn in to costly claims. For bars / restaurants that have a steady flow of patrons, a single beer / shot could become a 7-figure claim.

In addition to keeping you from a major claim, appropriate loss-prevention might also help you reduce your annual premium dollars.


8 Strategies for Preventing a Loss

Below is a list of easy-to-implement methods for reducing liquor liability hazards…

  1. Drinking on duty – Do not allow consumption of alcohol while on shift under any circumstances.
  2. Checking ID – Have a policy for checking ID if there is any doubt regarding age. ID should not only be checked at the door but at the point of sale as well. Any ID suspected of being false should be brought to the immediate attention of management.
  3. Service to minors – Do not serve alcohol to patrons appearing 30 years or younger without checking ID. If minors are allowed on premise and obtain alcohol through a legal adult, ask both patrons to leave immediately.
  4. Server training – Have all staff that serve alcohol complete an independent server TABC-certified training course within 30 days of employment. Keep documentation on file evidencing that all servers are of legal age to serve alcohol and have completed the proper training.
  5. Over service – Monitor patrons for intoxication. When necessary, slow the pace of or stop the delivery of alcohol. If patrons insist to continue drinking when cut-off, inform management immediately to assist in denial of additional alcohol. Patrons that enter already intoxicated should be asked to leave.
  6. Non alcoholic beverage and Food Service – Keep a variety of non alcoholic beverages for service that provide an option for non drinkers as well as patrons who appear headed towards intoxication. Have food available for service at all times when alcohol is being served.
  7. Transportation – Have a ride-home program in place for patrons that appear intoxicated.
  8. Log book – Keep a log behind the bar and instruct employees to note any incidents or potential incidents.

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