This Sunday, the New York Giants will take on the New England Patriots in Superbowl XVI.
It is a great time to enjoy the finality of the football season with friends and family. Share some drinks, eat some food and watch the game or the ads, whichever is your pleasure.
However, please make sure that if you are drinking, don’t drive. The Syracuse newspapers have already published an article saying that there will be roadblocks throughout Syracuse this weekend. A DWI can have enormous personal implications.
Generally a DWI is charged as a misdemeanor which means it is a criminal offense punishable by up to a year in jail. Additionally, fines and surcharges are added on to this charge and conviction. Further (at least in Onondaga County) an alcohol evaluation to determine if there is a problem requiring further treatment is required. Even if a favorable disposition is negotiated, insurance rate increases and suspension of your driving privileges will result.
If you own a bar, you too can be held liable if someone injures an individual through a DWI.
Through laws called the Dram Shop Act, restaurants and bars can be held liable for over serving a customer when that customer causes an accident and injures himself or others. It is extremely important that as a bar owner or bartender you monitor the consumption of your customers. While some owners feel it is not their place to “babysit” their customers, it is far better than losing the ability to sell and serve alcohol.
So, whether you are out with friends for the Superbowl or own the business they are in, just remember what Sarge said on Hill Street Blues:
Be careful out there.