Barring maybe a half-dozen exceptions, most U.S. states do have no licensing or permitting requirements for slinging booze other than – say – being 18 years of age. In exchange for an on-premises liquor license, what the law does universally requie, is a minimum level of common sense, a lesson that both Kelly Tracy and Leah Bailey (bartenders at “My Bar“) have unfortunately learned the hard way. Both drink sligers (pictured above) were recently found guilty of “serving alcohol to an intoxicated person.” They now face a $500 fine and up to one year in prison. The “victim,” 55-year old Juan Diaz (also pictured above) – an apparent regular “drunk” at My Bar (we all have them don’t we?) was partaking in his habitually fun evening at said watering hole. He was somehow documented and witnessed as being not only legally intoxicated, but visibly intoxicated. We in the business, particularly those having been through their municipality’s Alcohol Awareness Training/Certification, are all aware of the tell-tale signs and risks. Mr. Diaz calmly proceeded to stagger into the street and pick a fight with a two ton speeding hunk of metal on wheels. Mr. Diaz predictably lost the battle and is now comfortably resting at room temperature.
As appreciative as I am gaining my livelihood on the back of alcohol sales, and as frequently as I enjoy a moderate amount myself, I’m convinced that booze has the most detrimental impact on society with respect to controlled substances as well as illicit drugs. And yes, alcohol is a drug. It’s simply a legal (mostly), somewhat regulated substance. If you’ve convinced yourself otherwise, you’re simply delusional. That may seem a rather grand statement for the “average” person who drinks casually with nary a negative, alcohol-related repercussion. Those folks – myself included – have simply grown accustomed to acceptance of drinking culture, and can reasonably and responsibly enjoy themselves in the midst of a city obsessed with public consumption. On the other hand, there are countless “victims” who not only lose inhibition when intoxicated, but chronically cross a distinct “line in the sand” into (a) severe, alcohol-attributable health degradation (b) a no-recollection black-out zone where one can be robbed or sexually violated (c) depleting funds otherwise earmarked for rent, diapers, food, utility bills, etc. and finally, (d) violence. Today I’m dropping knowledge on that small percentage of folks who fall into that last category: the violent drunks. Remember… this is a bartending blog. As such, what I’m about to share is experience from a bartender’s perspective – not Security’s, Management’s, patrons’ or any other point of view. Continue reading