Bar Allegedly Serves Underaged Patron Involved in Fatal Accident

Bar Expert WitnessThis case involves an underage male patron who was admitted to a bar located near the campus of a large state university. The man was a student at the university, and had joined several of his fraternity brothers, who were above 21, for a night out. The underaged student drove to the downtown area where the bar was located, and proceeded to enter a bar and was served alcohol. After several hours, the student attempted to drive back to campus and fatally struck a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please describe your bar management experience.
  • 2. What are the proper protocols in place to ensure underage patrons are not admitted to bars and/or served alcohol at similar establishments?
  • 3. What are the protocols bartenders are supposed to adhere to regarding overserving and underage patrons?
  • 4. What behaviors do bartenders typically look for to determine if a patron should not continue to be served?

Expert Witness Response E-025031

I have experience working in bar/nightclub venues providing and managing security services for the establishments. Venue staff (including security) should be trained and certified in the applicable alcohol service training program required by state statutes. This includes the recognition of false or altered identification and dealing with refusal to serve intoxicated persons. ID screening should be conducted at the door (depending on the venue) or at the very least by the staff member serving the patron. I have reviewed several bar and nightclub cases in this state, and am very familiar with the applicable State statues. Bartenders, wait staff and security personnel should be observant of the patrons for signs of overservice (i.e. large amounts of consumption by individuals) and signs of intoxication (i.e. slurred speech, stumbling, sleeping, uncooperative attitude, etc.) and take action to stop serving them and safely remove them from the establishment so they do not harm themselves or others.

Contact this expert witness