Alcohol Safety Experts Opine on Inadequate ID Procedures


Dram Shop Expert WitnessThis case involves an underage female who was served alcohol at a fast casual chain restaurant in Denver, Colorado where she was attending college. The young woman was served a number of drinks during her time at the restaurant. According to restaurant staff, there were no established procedures for checking the ID of patrons, and there was no one at the door checking IDs on the night of the incident in question. The young woman left the restaurant after several hours of drinking and attempted to drive home, at which point she struck a tree at high speed and suffered fatal injuries.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Can you speak to the guidelines a restaurant should adhere to when it comes to serving alcohol and screening for underage patrons?
  • 2. Please describe any experience you may have as an expert on similar cases.

Expert Witness Response E-009092

Expert-ID: E-009092

The guidelines are clear and are strongly supported by articles that have been published and the national training curriculum. For example, restaurant staff must view the ID and make sure it is the same person, with height, weight, eye color, and facial features that are consistent with the ID provided. Restaurant staff must also make sure the ID is a state acceptable form of identification, and that there is documentation of their carding procedures. I have testified in numerous similar cases, where proper ID procedures are at issue.

Expert Witness Response E-000187

Expert-ID: E-000187

Seems like an easy case if it can be established subject appeared intoxicated and was still served. Her BAC and short drinking career can help establish this. A history of complaints against the liquor license and calls for police service would also help demonstrate if they were following proper ID procedures. Also, the nature of the restaurant itself important: a college location  draws many underage kids and must have adequate ID system. I am also a Certified Protection Professional, which is the security industry’s formal acknowledgement that a practitioner has mastered the subject matter of identification checks. Responsible alcohol service is a mainstay of the hospitality industry, to which bars belong. I have been an expert in security matters for over 30 years and have consulted in virtually every state in the union.

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