This case involves a 24-year-old woman who became both verbally and physically aggressive at a Miami bar. She had arrived at the bar in question around 11:30pm with a group of 3 friends. By 1:15am, the woman had become intoxicated to the point that she began screaming at other bar patrons and throwing beer bottles. Security promptly removed the woman from the premise but did not require that her party leave with her. The party chose to leave the woman to get home on her own. After leaving the bar, she ended up in the private swimming pool of a nearby house and drowned. When her body was discovered in the morning, she had an extremely high blood-alcohol content reading. An expert in bar management was sought to review the records relevant to this case to determine if there were errors in how the establishment dealt with this patron.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please describe your experience in bar management?
- 2. What are the responsibilities of the bar regarding such a patron?
Expert Witness Response E-095522
I can offer my opinion regarding the responsibilities of the parties to this case based off of my experience managing bars and restaurants and my TIPS Training (training for intervention procedures). I have been a TIPS trainer since 2010. I have trained employees for multiple luxury hotel properties as well as colleges and universities. All of my training involves on-premise service of alcohol. That is, I train TIPS in bar and restaurant service only- not grocery stores or off-premise. I currently am responsible for a student-run upscale restaurant that serves alcohol. Additionally, I consistently teach liability concerns to students in several courses involving food safety and overservice of alcohol. I also teach a course called Foundations of Beverage Management that both teaches alcohol types (tasting beer, spirits, wine) and how to manage over-service by using measured pours and safe sales techniques. I require all students to be TIPS certified even if they are not serving.
Expert Witness Response E-011651
I was president of a firm that managed 5 large businesses serving alcohol. 4 of them were on university campuses, requiring strict protocols, security, and oversight to ensure continued operation where 18-20 year-olds were allowed entry, but not to drink. That extensive bar management experience, including 4 operations with live entertainment, has given me a firm foundation to assess management practices in bars.