Owners of bars and taverns are legally obliged to stop serving alcohol to customers who, according to them, may be considering exceeding the legal limit for alcohol consumption by blood. If they take no action and a cartridge gets a drunk driving accident, the bar can be held liable.
With such risks immediately available on tap, applying appropriate insurance and loss control for bars and taverns can be a challenge, said Tom Gillingham, owner and CEO of EverGuard Insurance Services, which offers special insurance and service for restaurants, pubs, casinos & # 39; s and other hospitality. companies that serve alcoholic beverages.
"Even the best hotel and catering entrepreneurs in the company run the risk of getting drunk and driving," Gillingham said Insurance business. "You can kill them and select only the best operators, but it's just a sad fact that you'll see some alcohol-related car accidents and deaths, so that makes it difficult."
Bar and tavern insurance is not "something you can really float in", says Gillingham. To make a program successful, you need a lot of historical data, expertise in loss management and experience to know how to price the company at an individual account level, he said.
"The laws for catering companies that serve alcohol vary from state to state." One of the common themes between states is the concept of "visible or noticeable drunkenness," which is the point where a bar or bartender it is supposed to refuse service to a patron, "Gillingham explained." If they continue to serve someone in those circumstances, we start to get a liability problem.
"Of course, that is a very subjective standard and it does not necessarily correlate well with the blood alcohol level in the blood.A seasoned drinker can often have a very high concentration of alcohol in the blood, have poor health, but function relatively normally with the naked eye. , while someone who does not drink often drinks one or two drinks and has difficulty with his speech or holding their calm, that is the difficult part of the company. "
Where Gillingham said he noticed, is an improvement with the arrival of rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft. Not everyone, however, is inclined to spend money on a ride home. To encourage people to take a taxi, EverGuard Insurance Services is testing a pilot program where a handful of bar and hostel customers have received a one-way disposable bag, which also comes with a discount voucher for a rideshare service.
As a responsible patron, someone is trying to cut off because he & # 39; s visible or noticeable drunkenness & # 39; shows, or if he is concerned that a client exceeds the limit for driving, he can ask for the breathalyzer test. If the patron refuses, they will no longer be served alcohol. The tests should give bartenders more guidance on what they should do, and they can encourage customers to take alternative transportation home with the discount ticket for rides.
"Loss management techniques, like our breathalyzer program, are really important right down to the account level – there are many nuances in state laws and even in the specific city districts: if a barman misjudges a patterned pattern, the resulting lawsuits are usually not in favor of the bar, "added Gillingham. "Again, differences in litigation vary by state, for example, the state of California has very favorable alcohol liability laws, while other states have almost draconian laws, if at any time in the evening you have served a drink to someone who has caused an accident or a problem. , you can be dragged into a lawsuit quite easily.
"Many of these cases are very tragic, people get severely injured and are killed – sometimes completely out of blame – and if you were the last bar to give that customer a drink, their blood alcohol level exceeded the legal limit and they are every kind of visible signs of drunkenness, then it is a difficult thing to win. "