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View Poll Results: Do you think this proposed change in the law is fair?

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  • Yes, accountability is the key, and it will decrease drunk driving

    11 22.92%
  • No, owners cannot control how much their customers drink

    37 77.08%
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  1. #1
    Terminator's Avatar
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    Proposed law changes to cause bar owners to be fined when a customers BAC is .14+

    LAS CRUCES -- Bar owners are upset about proposed changes in state liquor regulations that could make it easier to fine them or revoke their licenses.
    Opponents at a hearing on the proposals Thursday were especially concerned about the impact to their business if someone is found with a high percentage of alcohol in their blood after leaving their establishment.

    Under the proposal, an alcohol level of 0.14 percent or higher within two hours of the sale, service or consumption of alcohol will be considered evidence that the person was intoxicated at the time of the sale -- subjecting the business to a violation for selling to intoxicated people. The current regulation limits the time frame to an hour.

    Liquor license owners said a person's alcohol content is likely to be higher as time passes and more alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream, and questioned how they could adequately determine someone's sobriety. The state's legal limit for intoxication is 0.08 percent.

    "The fact is I'm not a drinker," bar owner and state Sen. Mary Jane Garcia, D-Doña Ana, said at the hearing, which drew more than 100 people. "I despise drinking, but I have to make a living."

    Current regulations are tough enough and the proposed ones aren't enforceable, she said.

    "How is the state going to send someone to everywhere alcohol is served?" Garcia asked.

    Business owners protested that they shouldn't be held responsible for what someone does after leaving their establishment, and said there's no way to know if someone drank more afterward.

    The state Alcohol and Gaming Division also proposes to reduce the number of violations required for the state to revoke a liquor license. Currently, a business can lose its liquor license after five violations within 12 months involving sales to minors or intoxicated persons.

    The state wants to be able to revoke a license after four violations for selling to minors and after two violations of selling to intoxicated persons. In both cases, fines would be doubled to $10,000.

    Opponents said the proposals would make it difficult to do business and would shift the blame from the customer to the business owner. Supporters said the changes shouldn't be a concern to businesses that follow the law.

    "I think if you are responsible you don't have to be afraid to have your license revoked," said Erica Ramos of Doña Ana, whose father was killed last year by a drunken driver.
    Last edited by Terminator; 07-10-06 at 11:33 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thats ridiculous.

    I voted no, but not because bar owners can't control how much their customers drink. Bartenders can control that by not serving them, duh.

    But my problem with this is that it cites a .14 BAC as being "intoxicated".

    I've seen people walking, talking, and passing sfst's with ease at a .20 BAC. How is a bartender going to know their customer is at a .14??
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  3. #3
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    A bartender is not a LEO. If a state wants him to be then they need to put him on the payrole.

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  4. #4
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    I voted no. Holding bartenders responsible for other people is silly. Again, it's a reflection of our "victim" mentality in this society. Let's hold the bartender liable so the drunk doesn't have to be responsible.

    That being said, they shouldn't serve someone until they're falling down drunk, but for most people, .14 isn't all that drunk unless they're behind the wheel.

    Why not just not allow bars to have parking lots????
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  5. #5
    General Patten's Avatar
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    agreed. what are bartenders supposed to do, use a breath test every time someone orders a drink?
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  6. #6
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    No. Why do we go to bars? To drink. The expectation is that just because we are at a bar we are not going to get tore up. That is stupid. It is the drinkers responsibility to ensure he or she is being safe and within the law. Holding the server accountable for that is like holding the gun salesman accountable if his buyer kills someone.
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  7. #7
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    I was between 2 minds on this one, I went with yes for the simple reason is that it limits bars on being allowed serve people that walk into the place drunk and also stops people from propping up bars.

    Ireland has introduced a similar law which we use common sense when enforcing. For example, bar staff and door men can now refuse to allow access if someone has already been drinking and it has had a positive effect on public order problems.

    In Australia this law has been around for years now and again, it works.
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  8. #8
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    Got to vote no on this one. I agree with the rest. Hold the drunks liable. Make them do the jail time that they were supposed to get in the first place.
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  9. #9
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    God damn victim mentality...

    It's always someone elses fault.

    McDonald's made me have chubby thighs, R-rated movies made me a pervert , and the bars made me drink.

    There is no such thing as personal accountability or responsibility.

    You cannot hold bar owners or bartenders accountable for what their patrons do afterwards. The common sense solution here is what Garda described. If someone is falling down drunk you can refuse to serve them.

    I also agree with retdet... .14 is not all that horribly drunk if all your doing is sitting there.

    Ok, rambling rant off....
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  10. #10
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    I vote no because there is nothing saying they dont leave the bar and go somewhere else and have a quick drink and then leave.

  11. #11
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    I vote no, I do believe that if someone is hardly able to order a drink they should not be served anymore. I have seen people order beer and they are unable to keep their eyes open and the bartender serves them.

    Second if the State or City thinks that they are going to enforce this law and have people go in to every liquor establishment that means wages have to be spent on hiring and training all these people, they should just send the money to PD's to hire more officers or give some of us cops a friggen raise.


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BEK320
    I vote no, I do believe that if someone is hardly able to order a drink they should not be served anymore. I have seen people order beer and they are unable to keep their eyes open and the bartender serves them.
    I agree and Oregon has a liquor enforcement agency that will fine a place if they catch them serving visibly intoxicated people. And they will go after a bar if the police are catching people driving really hammered after leaving the place. By really, hammered, I mean falling down drunk.

    Although people here who are injured or family members of people killed by drunk drivers have been known to sue the bar the drunk driver was drinking. I don't think they've been real successful because after an initial flurry of suits, they sorta went away.
    Last edited by Retdetsgt; 07-11-06 at 12:01 PM.
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  13. #13
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    When you walk into a bar...You are a grown person, responsible for your own actions. No one holds you down and pour drinks down your throat until you are so screwed up that you cannot function. It is not the bar's responsibility to babysit your ass!
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  14. #14
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    A poor bartender has a enough going on in a packed bar on a Saturday night. Now he has to keep track of his customers BAC. Give me a break. No one is forcing those people to go out and drink.
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  15. #15
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    I would like to see bars, on their own, start more special programs encouraging the bringing of a DD. I have heard that some places will serve the DD free non-alcoholic drinks all night. It would be cool to see more of that as well as maybe discounts on groups who come to bars with a DD etc etc.

    But yea, I think it is pretty ridiculous to hold bars responsible for tracking the BAC of their patrons. I think in SOME situations the bar could be held accountable, but largely it is a personal issue that people can't see to take care of.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruh
    I would like to see bars, on their own, start more special programs encouraging the bringing of a DD. I have heard that some places will serve the DD free non-alcoholic drinks all night. It would be cool to see more of that as well as maybe discounts on groups who come to bars with a DD etc etc.
    pretty good ideas. Id like to see that around here.
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  17. #17
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    I voted yes... I think of bartenders as drug dealers, because my father was an alcoholic. I wouldn't be sorry to see every bar and liquor store in the nation go out of business.

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  18. #18
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    I voted yes. The bottom line is people need to be held accountable (Drunk and Bartender). The drunk didn't get drunk on his own. He or she had a little help.

    A drunk is not going to stop drinking. A drunk wont say I am too drunk. The bartender has to see that their client has had enough.

    The problem is over serving.

    On another note I have never seen somone with a .14 to .20 pass roadsides.
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  19. #19
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    Let’s hold the liquor maker, the car manufacturer, the bar tender, their mama and daddy, their wife/husband, their kids, their pastor, the city (for allowing bars) and of course the cops for not catching them sooner; but not heaven forbid the lawyers and judges who get them a slap on the wrist and turn them out again and again to get out there and try to kill someone again and again.




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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1sgkelly
    but not heaven forbid the lawyers and judges who get them a slap on the wrist and turn them out again and again to get out there and try to kill someone again and again.




    That too - My old man stayed sober for a couple of years after the judge finally put him in the pen for 90 days - Much more effective than his 20-day visit to the alcohol treatment center

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