Subtitle: 
Corleone’s Restaurant served alcohol on several occasions to a visibly intoxicated person. As a result, they were found in violation of the liquor laws.

Corleone’s is a restaurant located in Greeley, Colorado. The restaurant was frequented by a regular customer who drank at the restaurant. The man often got intoxicated and sometimes came to the restaurant intoxicated.

Important Tip Restaurants need to make sure they train their employees to recognize the symptoms of “visible intoxication” and have policies in place to deal with customers in that condition.

Colorado law provides that “it is unlawful for any person . . . to sell, serve, give away . . . any alcoholic beverage to a visibly intoxicated person or to a known habitual drunkard.”

A liquor license officer had been at the restaurant and saw them serve alcohol to this person when he was visibly intoxicated. In addition, the bartender at the restaurant said he had served this person when he had come in already intoxicated and called for taxicabs when the customer was unfit to go home on his own.

Some of the things the court found important in concluding that the customer was visibly intoxicated included swaying, bloodshot eyes, speech being slow and slurred and the smell of alcohol.

The restaurant was under the impression that they could continue to serve the person unless a doctor or family member reported that the person was a “habitual drunkard” and they had notice of this fact. The Court did not find this argument persuasive for purposes of the liquor license law (although this might be a good defense in the case of civil liability under Dram Shop Acts).

 

Additional Information
Important Tip: 
Restaurants need to make sure they train their employees to recognize the symptoms of “visible intoxication” and have policies in place to deal with customers in that condition.
Marketing copy: 
Restaurant legal issues