Part Three: Bars and Eating EstablishmentsJuly 13, 2007 No Comments
This is the third installment of the general topic: The Predominant Culture of Alcohol in Pacific Beach, CA . Please feel free to contribute to any section posted, which you will see below. To read other’s comments click the link at the end of this section.
Bars and Eating Establishments
I have spoken with those in the PB business community leadership and have learned that many believe once a patron leaves a bar or dining establishment the bar is then absolved of any interest in that patron. They do not appear to have any social responsibilities to the patron or community as to what that person does under the influence of drinks they just served.
It is also clear that if one is reasonably under control, that a bar will continue serving them drink upon drink — with all logic pointing to the fact that due to the person’s height and weight they may very likely be overly intoxicated. One bar owner told me the law is they cannot serve a patron if they know the patron is over a 0.08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). This same person told me of a local university-backed study that showed the average person arriving upon Garnet Avenue was blowing a BAC of 0.05.
This means a bartender with this knowledge would only be able to serve a guy my size one drink in the first hour — otherwise they would be over-serving me. If I’m there to drink and order three drinks in the first hour, we’re all pretty clear that the bartender most likely wouldn’t stop serving me, even if he did know I was blowing a 0.05 when I first arrived, and providing I was reasonably under control, right? Wouldn’t that mean they are ignoring the law?
Several bars have recently instituted “bottle service” whereby a group of patrons, many times under a “VIP” banner, are offered preferential tables complete with full bottles of wine or liquor. The patrons can then serve each other as little or as much as they like, completely out of the watchful eye of a responsible bartender or server staff.
These patrons pay high rates for such VIP service. For instance, $200 for a fifth of vodka. My question is: Should we let inebriated patrons decide who should be able to keep drinking without being under the control of the bartender or server staff?
Many people in the community are forming private pub crawls. Each weekend you can see one or a few pub crawls taking place. The group usually organizes a plan of which bars they will visit, often don a commemorative t-shirt and go from bar-to-bar taking drinks at every stop. Bar employees must know that these patrons are overly intoxicated as time goes by. However, I imagine it is very difficult to turn away a group of 10-50 people, knowing that most will buy at least one $2-5 drink.
Bars are even getting in on the act. They have recently been forming their own pub crawls — selling tickets to participants — and providing them drinks at every stop.
I wonder, once the pub crawl has been completed, just how the participants end up getting home. Often times they originally meet up at a PB home n and upon completing the pub crawl they head back to the home, continue partying and/or get in their cars to head home.Commentary