As the Superbowl approaches, the risks of alcohol-related injuries may increase. A dram shop case can significantly disrupt your operations and tarnish your public image. Even with a favorable outcome, being the center of a controversial story may impact your business for years to come.
Knowing which factors may influence the outcome of a dram shop case can help you prepare for the unexpected.
Serving alcohol at your establishment is not breaking the law. However, not doing due diligence to act responsibly in the manner you serve alcohol could have repercussions later on. According to the Revisor of Missouri, if you continue to serve a visibly intoxicated person alcohol, your risks of facing scrutiny may increase substantially if that inebriated person ends up injuring someone else. Under no circumstances should you continue serving alcohol to any guests after closing time.
Breaking the law
By law, you have a requirement to request proof of age before serving alcohol. If your patrons cannot provide evidence of their meeting the legal age requirement, by law, you cannot serve them alcohol. Not asking for an I.D. or ignoring the fact that a patron is not old enough to legally drink can have detrimental consequences for you and your establishment.
So long as you comply with state laws, you should not have much to worry about. However, unexpected circumstances can sometimes draw you into a serious issue. If you do face a case citing dram shop laws, your future may look uncertain. With a strong defense and a credible story, you may have a shot at preventing a costly lawsuit.