Liability for Serving an Obviously Intoxicated Minor

intoxicated minors

California bars and restaurants cannot be held personally liable for serving alcohol to an intoxicated adult customer who later injures someone in a motor vehicle accident. However, the bar or restaurant can be liable if the person is a minor and was “obviously intoxicated” when served alcohol by the establishment as codified in California Business and Professions Code section 25602.1.

Signs of an Obviously Intoxicated Minor

The phrase “obviously intoxicated” means a minor who has known outward manifestations of liquor intoxication. The supplier of alcohol must use his or her powers of observation to such extent as to see that which is easily seen and to hear at that which is easily heard. The outward manifestations of liquor intoxication can be obvious and can include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Irregular body movements
  • Excessive laughing
  • Unstable footing
  • Unintelligible speech
  • Red eyes and a drastic change of behavior.

Prosecuting Servers of Obviously Intoxicated Minors

In order to prosecute a case like this, it is important to obtain the minor’s preliminary alcohol screening or blood alcohol level results. It may also be necessary to retain an expert toxicologist who can use this information to testify regarding the minor’s outward manifestations of intoxication. A bartending expert may also be needed to testify as to any previous or existing disciplinary actions, violations or complaints involving the bar or restaurant. In addition, a thorough investigation should be conducted to obtain any and all percipient witness testimony that can support the evidence of an obviously intoxicated minor. These are but a few of the issues involved in what are usually very difficult cases to prosecute.

Recent Blog Posts

  • commercial trucks on highway

    Vicarious Liability Torts in Commercial Truck Accidents

    If a negligent driver causes a commercial truck accident, the trucking company can be burdened with vicarious liability torts. The company can be held liable for the driver’s negligence under the legal tenet known as respondeat superior, a Latin phrase that translates as “let the superior make the response.” This concept transfers the truck driver’s […]

    Read More
  • california fire possibly caused by utility company under strict liability

    3 Fascinating Strict Liability Tort Cases in Sacramento

    Tort liability in personal injury cases is most often based on acts of negligence, but there are exceptions. Sometimes the responsible party is held to the strict liability tort standard, meaning that a finding of negligence or malicious intent is not required. The most common types of strict liability tort cases are based on: Product […]

    Read More
  • student injured at school - parents suing for negligence

    Suing a School for Negligence: What You Need to Know

    A negligence-based lawsuit against a school can have unique complications, depending on the type of institution it is. Overall, teachers, school administrators, and other staff have a “duty of care,” meaning they must take reasonable steps to avoid and prevent circumstances likely to cause personal injury to a student. Some reasons you might want to […]

    Read More
  • Sacramento Office
  • 333 University Avenue, Suite 200
  • Sacramento, CA
  • (916) 756-0772
  • Roseville Office
  • 1544 Eureka Road, Suite 120
  • Roseville, CA
  • (916) 788-1960
  • Oakland Office
  • 1300 Clay St, Suite 600
  • Oakland, CA
  • (510) 962-4610

© 2019 Penney Law, Serving the Areas of Sacramento, Roseville, Fairfield, Modesto, Stockton & Oakland California