Bad Security In A Bar? Here’s Why You Should Care…

January 12, 2015 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Bad Security In A Bar? Here’s Why You Should Care… Consuming alcohol makes your central nervous system (consisting of your brain and spinal cord) operate at a much slower rate—hence the term “depressant”. On top of the delayed response time, and the severely hindered psychomotor skills (when alcohol is consumed in excess), an intoxicated person may be inclined to make spontaneously poor decisions. I'm comfortable in saying that anyone who has been intoxicated before has done something they'd be unlikely to do sober. After all, it is referred to as “liquid courage”. With that said, you can imagine how it could be dangerous to have a bar full of alcohol served by a handful of trained employees that encourage drinking in excess. Can you sue a bar for over-serving? Florida does have a few laws that would hold a bar, restaurant, or store responsible for an accident caused by over-intoxication, but they differ from most other states. These laws, known as Florida's Dram Shop Act, differs from other states' because it actually turns the power around. Instead of giving drunk patrons the ability to sue organizations for over-serving, it more-or-less protects organizations from frivolous and unfair lawsuits, subsequently requiring very specific circumstances to have been met before a lawsuit can be brought forth by a plaintiff. To be more specific, a claim can only be made by either: a minor, or a person who is “habitually addicted to alcohol” In other words, if the bar over-serves a known alcoholic who then gets in an accident, the bar can be held responsible…however, this case would be highly contested by the defense. Heavy investigation and analysis would be done to determine each party's fault. In Florida, pure-comparative negligence is the system that allows a plaintiff to recover based on how much they are at fault. The bar may be considered partially at fault for over-serving an obviously habitual drinker, while the consumer takes the remaining blame for driving under the influence of alcohol. Do I have a real case? No matter the percentage variance of responsibility, the plaintiff can recover for whatever was NOT their fault. This shines light on cases for new drinkers who are unaware of the powerful effects of alcohol. If they consume it at an unsafe rate with no guidance or regulation on the bar's end, they could end up seriously injured. Not all over-serving accidents are related to vehicles. Cases vary depending on the situation, so there's no way better way to determine if you can sue an organization for over-serving you than to speak with experienced personal injury attorney for free. One common accident related to alcohol is a slip/trip-and-fall accident. Because normal brain operation is hindered, that curb may become your biggest enemy. Believe it or not, people have been seriously injured in accidents like this and suffer great losses, but are completely unaware of their right to engage the organization for compensation. Another common occurrence is bar fights. Drunken patrons are often unruly and aggressive, and with the overwhelming confidence gained from drinking, they could attack an unsuspecting or undeserving attendee. This would open the doors to sue for a number of reasons, but one most commonly looked over is “negligent security”. Is an organization expected to protect me?  Believe it or not, yes, but only to an extent. Known as premises liability, places open to the public for business are held to relatively strict standards for customer protection. Signs, waivers, verbal warnings, and other methods is an organization's way of getting “off-the-hook” in a court of law. Luckily, responsibility isn't immediately voided just because a bar puts up a silly warning sign that reads “Beware of Drunks!” If you were ever to be assaulted in a bar or any other organization because the security of the premises was poor (i.e. no cameras, inadequate lighting), the bar can be held responsible for continuing operation in an unsafe manner. Bar owners are expected to convey a certain level of care and responsibility over their patrons, and failure to do so can result in a lawsuit.


If you or a loved one has suffered losses or received injuries that could have been prevented or avoided had an organization taken proper steps to avoid them—like a bar installing cameras and lights in the back alley—you may be eligible for significant financial compensation to help you recover from your losses. Speak with an experienced personal injury and negligent security attorney in Clearwater today for a free consultation and case evaluation. We strive to answer all of your questions and provide you with the necessary knowledge and tools to determine if you can make a claim, so call us now at 727-451-6900. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 727-451-6900


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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