When you are serving alcohol, your responsibilities extend beyond the customers you serve. The owners, managers, bartenders and servers can be held legally responsible if an intoxicated customer is involved in an accident. What are the laws in Texas?
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission encourages retailers to require their employees who sell or serve alcoholic beverages to attend a seller training course through the “Safe Harbor Act.” The TABC will not take administrative action against a license/permit when an employee sells or serves an alcoholic beverage to a minor or intoxicated customer, as long as:
the person selling is not the owner or an officer of the licensee or permittee;
the person selling holds a current seller training certification;
all employees engaged in the sale, service, or delivery of alcoholic beverages, as well as their immediate managers, are currently certified;
the licensee/permittee posts policies for Responsible Alcohol Service and ensures that each employee understands these policies;
the licensee/permittee does not directly or indirectly encourage the employee to violate the law;
and there are not more than two of these type violations within a twelve month period.
Safe Harbor – Protection for Employers from TABC Administrative Action If one of the employees sells alcohol to someone who is already showing signs of intoxication and that person causes personal injury or property damage to someone else, the parties who are harmed may have legal grounds to sue to collect damages from your business.
Over the past several years, alcohol liability lawsuits in Texas that have been settled both in and out of court have included attempts to collect damages from alcoholic beverage licensees for everything from auto accidents, teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, rape and fights.
If your business is sued in an alcohol related lawsuit, your business is afforded its greatest protection if all your employees are TABC Certified.
May 13th, 2015
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