WTF are you talking about? Whether it’s a street-corner bar, or a bar at a concert or sports venue, it’s still a bar, manned by bartenders serving individual customers one at a time, and yes, they do have a responsibility to serve their customers responsibly.
Still, I don’t have an opinion on how this should be settled because there aren’t enough detailed facts in the original CBC article. But it’s obvious what’s happening here. This woman and her father (who owned the car) are facing six lawsuits and huge personal liabilities that far exceed whatever their insurance maximum may have been. They’re going to be financially wiped out unless they can force someone to share the liability.
They are not (primarily) suing the concert venue; the biggest target of the lawsuit on multiple allegations is the Ovation Food Services company that served the alcohol. The concert venue is the subject of an additional lawsuit for throwing her out without ensuring that she could safely get home, which sounds pretty dubious to me. They probably have a better shot against Ovation. But even if they win, I very much doubt they’ll get much of a settlement in comparison to the huge liabilities they face. They’re screwed. I kinda feel sorry for the father, but not for this moron, who I hope is still in jail.
So, you’re saying bartenders may as well continue serving a falling-down drunk, because the drunk probably has friends that will get them a drink anyway.
I guess by the same logic liquor stores may as well sell a giant bottle of tequila to an 8-year-old, because the 8-year-old probably has adult friends that would get it for him anyway.
Or does it maybe make sense that it serves a public interest to hold liquor providers accountable for who they provide it to?
To be clear, I’m just responding to that one particular point. I certainly have no sympathy for this woman, nor with most of the allegations she’s making (some of which – probably due to bad reporting – appear to be contradictory). The only suit that this father-daughter pair might possibly have a long shot at winning would be the one against Ovation, for continuing to serve her alcohol, and my bet is that in the unlikely event that they do get a settlement, it’ll be a fart in the wind compared to the staggering liabilities they’re facing.
FTR, I was once in line behind someone at the liquor store – perfectly ordinary-looking fellow – and they refused to let him make his purchase. He argued briefly, then left. As she was ringing up my purchase, the cashier said something about “even a whiff of alcohol, and we’re not allowed to serve them”.
Of course, criteria at a bar are quite different. Customers are expected to be drinking. But the point is that training about enforcement of responsible standards is important in both cases.
Once again, I am in no way defending this moron, who I hope is still in jail and will never drive again. But as to whether they should win or lose the various lawsuits, as I said at the beginning, it depends on many factual details that we (the general public) do not have. I’m just saying that the bartenders at Ovation are likely not completely innocent.
Surely plenty of people at a concert like that would have been riding home with others or taking public transportation home? And so they had no responsibility of making sure everyone leaving the concert was in a fit condition to drive?
Her legal team will have to prove in court that the people selling alcohol knew she was intoxicated when they sold her another drink AND that the venue employees knew she was unfit to drive home. Good luck with that.
Precisely. Unless someone has a cite to the contrary, I don’t believe many jurisdictions (in particular Canada, the US, and the UK) set the level at which you should no longer serve someone alcohol at the same level as that which would leave them fit to drive.
Very occasionally I will drive somewhere with the intent of drinking alcohol and then getting home by other means. Once (and I mean just once), in my youth, I was mildly intoxicated (definitely unfit to drive legally and safely) but was unable to resist temptation while walking past my parked car, and drove it half a mile to get home. Never again. But the point is, a) that was entirely on me and b) it would be ridiculous to expect venues serving alcohol to question patrons about their transportation plans before serving them.
Last year for our anniversary I bought tickets for my wife and I to see Elton John in concert. It was great, that dude can put on a show and he is freaking awesome.
The only part that sucked was the oblivious bleach-blonde drunk woman behind me. She kept hitting me over and over again with her “dancing”, often in my head. She would not acknowledge me in any way either. She was so fucking out of it. I wonder if she even knew where she was.
Also she spilled an entire cup of beer all over my nice leather jacket. I’m so happy I was able to clean it because I thought it was ruined.
I have zero sympathy for the woman putting out the lawsuit. Nobody forced her to drink. She was solely responsible for everything that followed. I don’t get why people get that drunk at a concert anyway. If you’re that inebriated, you probably can’t even take in the performance and may not remember it later. You can get drunk anywhere, you might as well do it at home or in a bar where you’re not missing out on what you paid lots of money to experience.
I get having a couple of drinks to relax, but if you’re getting smashed drunk in a venue like that, you are making really stupid decisions. And that’s even before you get in a car and blow up some houses.
Thirty years ago in university I had a part time position with events at the students union. We went through training about recent lawsuits and liability for serving alcohol to impaired persons. I would think this has been a standard policy for servers throughout North America for a long time now.
I or my company have been named in lawsuits a couple times now for events we were periferally involved in. They were situations pretty quickly resolved with a little investigation by our insurance provider. It appears to be standard practice to involve any other possibly liable parties when being sued. Culture of litigation and all that.
I don’t think I have ever driven impaired to the level that this woman was, but I certainly drove impaired to some degree on my youth. Twenty somethings have still developing brains and make some bad decisions, being impaired doesn’t help. She caused a lot of damage and luckily didn’t kill anyone. I think she made the same bad decisions many people do, but the consequences were much more serious.
Maybe the punishment should be tied more universally to the behaviour, and not so much to the consequences of the particular situation. A topic for great debates I am sure.
Really not much of a debate, as it’s long been established in law that the consequences of an illegal act have a major bearing on the penalties imposed, and often change the actual offense charged (e.g. “murder” vs “attempted murder”).
The criminalization of impaired driving is based on two things: a doctrine of prevention, and the legal principle of imposing additional penalties for the consequences of a criminal act. Around here, anyway, there are actually different charges related to impaired driving – impaired driving, impaired driving causing bodily harm, and impaired driving causing death. All are serious, but involve escalating consequences. Impaired driving causing death is where they throw the book at you, and rightly so.
Those are the risks you take when driving drunk. It’s not like doing something rather unwise, and then an unfortunate accident happens. It’s a serious criminal offense, and the principle of criminal consequences applies.
I agree - I don’t see the need to drink or do recreational pharmaceuticals, I am interested in the music and stage show. I would have no issue if they stopped selling booze at concerts, but the venues make their money that way [and also on tshirts and shit like that] I have to say that concerts and cons are getting priced out of range of mrAru and I … and honestly, there are not that many groups we would actually pay to go see. I can put on youtube videos and crank the sound, and kill orcs to my favorite music more easily than the whole dog and pony show that being handicapped makes going out to a concert ends up being.