Smart Steps To Take Against The Negligence Associated With Liquor Liability
As the owner of a business which serves alcohol to its patrons you need to be awareof risk management steps that will help to protect you and reduce your liability in the event of a loss.
Under the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Code there is the "Safe Harbor" defense provides that actions of an employee shall not be attributable to an employer if:
1.)The employer requires its employees to attend a commission-approved seller training program
2.)The employee actually has attended such a training program; and
3.)The employer has not directly or indirectly encouraged the employees to violate such law.
These steps can often times obtain a premium credit for the owner who has his/her employees attend regular classes and stay current on their certification.
These three steps can afford the establishment owner, his employees and his family a solid defense against liquor liability claims. However the owner of the establishment must be diligent in his/her approach to this defense.
First; any and every employee who might sell, serve or have anything to do with alcohol should go to a commission approved course. This is to promote their understanding of what is legal and what is not legal. The employer should be aggressive in seeing that individuals get in for their updates as needed or as required. That employees get the benefit of education to help them know what is permissible and what is not. Second, as a term of their employment, the employees should be required to take the commission approved course and stay current with requirements. The employer should consider giving the employees paid time to attend these courses and review with them what they have learned. Third, the employer should also develop an effective way to put it into practice what the employees have learned in the courses.
The employers must be knowledgeable of the liquor liability laws so they cannot unknowingly ask an employee to do something against the law. By following the steps outlined above and applying what you have learned in the courses you should be able to prevent most liquor liability claims or have a solid defense against one.
The common sense approach is another good measure to keeping your business out of difficulties. If a customer is at his/her limit, cut them off from any additional alcohol consumption. If he/she still wants to drink, tell them no and offer to call them a cab for a ride home. Once you have made your decision to cut the patron off, do not go back on your decision to let them consume more alcohol on your premises. The manager or the owner should advise the customer they are done drinking and have a cab called for their ride home.
If the individual agrees they are finished drinking, offer to help them get home in the safest manner. If you have off duty officers then let them deal with the individuals who refuse to quit drinking or demand further service. Be consistent in how you treat everyone who comes to your establishment.
Finally, remember that when you are dealing with something as potentially dangerous as alcohol you need the protection that liquor liability or host liquor liability can afford.