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When out having a good time, people often end up drinking more than they may have intended. In many cases, they may have been encouraged by a friendly bartender to keep buying drinks regardless of their state of intoxication. This leads many people to question whether or not their bartender is a friend or a foe.
It is important to remember that while bartenders are supposed to cut people off who are clearly intoxicated, in many cases bartenders have a lot of incentive to keep serving alcohol to patrons who request it. Many bar owners are concerned about liability for customers who are overserved, however bartenders are also told that selling drinks is a very important part of their job. Bartenders may be reluctant to cut a patron off. Doing this may cause the patron to react negatively or even violently and realistically may also result in loss of customers or bad publicity. In addition, bartenders in crowded bars or nightclubs may not have the time to evaluate a patron’s level of intoxication when ordering drinks. The bartender may be filling multiple orders and may unwittingly serve someone who should be cut off.
In other cases, a bartender may consciously ignore a patron’s level of intoxication and keep serving alcohol to that person or encourage him or her to keep drinking. While a bartender may seem friendly, it is important to remember that bars and clubs rely on alcohol sales and those working at these establishments may be eager to make a sale.
Even if a bartender overserves a patron, the patron will be held responsible for driving while under the influence if he or she is pulled over while driving home from the bar. An officer may appear interested in learning how the friendly bartender overserved the driver and gave him or her much more alcohol than intended, however this is because the officer will consider this to be an admission of drinking and can use this to justify a DUI investigation and arrest. The fact that a person was overserved is not a defense to DUI.
In fact, there may be cases where a bar patron is so drunk that a bartender calls the police when he or she sees the patron get behind the wheel of a vehicle and drive away. Upon receiving a call of this nature, the police officer responding to the call will attempt to locate the vehicle in question. Once this vehicle has been located, the officer will follow the vehicle in order to see whether or not the driver commits any traffic violations or other violations of the law. If this type of conduct is observed, the officer will pull the vehicle over and will conduct a DUI investigation.
For drivers who may have consumed more alcohol than intended, a bartender may be able to help in other ways. A bartender can call a taxi or may allow the patron to leave his or her car parked overnight to avoid a DUI.