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Over Served - Alcohol Related Cases in the News

Tiger Woods and his restaurant in Jupiter, Florida have been in the news recently due to a wrongful death suit after an employee died in a car crash. Attorney David L. Savage discussed below how this would apply to South Carolina.

As to this article:

No such suit in South Carolina… Each state has its own laws concerning legal responsibility for the over service of alcohol. In South Carolina, an intoxicated individual may not sue the bar that over serves them for injuries that they sustain. Our courts have concluded that the drunk driver that voluntarily over consumes alcohol bears personal responsibility for the consequences of their actions and that it would be against the social policy of our state to allow them to bring claims against a bar. In South Carolina, only the innocent victims of the drunk driver and the bars that overserved them are allowed to seek redress for their injuries.

Some states do allow a person to bring a claim against the bar who serves them in limited circumstances, typically when the bar has specific knowledge that the patron is a habitual drunk. In the article below it appears that the state of Texas has taken an expanded approach to alcohol service liability. Tiger Woods was named as a defendant, not because of his status as a golfer, but because of his role as the owner of the business who derives the profit from his activities. Likewise, the general manager is responsible for ensuring that activities within the establishment conform with established industry standards (i.e. not serving one to the point of intoxication or serving one who is intoxicated). It is a fundamental rule in alcohol service training that managers must supervise bartenders even if the bartender has been trained and licensed by a certified alcohol service program. This concept should not shock anyone. Just because someone has been licensed in an activity does not mean that they should not be supervised. Almost everyone has a driver’s license-does that mean that they never exceed the speed limit?”

- David L. Savage

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