Be Sure Bar and Restaurant Employees Know the Law on Over-Serving Alcohol to Customers


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With the holiday season upon us and everyone gathering together for Christmas and New Year’s parties, be sure your bar and restaurant employees are familiar with Pennsylvania’s laws on over serving. In Pennsylvania, a bar owner can be held liable for damages caused by an intoxicated person if the injured party can prove the person was served while “visibly intoxicated.”  Visible intoxication is defined as, “the level of impairment that any person can detect by noticing the various signs of intoxication.” Possible signs to look for include:

  • Glassy or bloodshot eyes
  • Loud or slurred speech
  • Lack of coordination or concentration
  • Spilling drink
  • Staggered walk

A business that continues to serve alcoholic drinks to a visibly intoxicated person may be held both criminally and civilly liable.  Liability may extend to the business owners, manager on duty, and server. For more information on Pennsylvania’s liquor laws visit the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board website.

If you have questions regarding your protecting your business from liability, or help with other matters related to managing your business, the attorneys at the Scolieri Law Group, P.C. can help.  Located in western Pennsylvania, our attorneys are experienced in Pennsylvania business law and can help you limit your potential liability exposure.  Contact us today at (412)765-0546 or via email at info@scolierilaw.com.