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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Default Re: Bartender Liability (Ohio)

    Quote Quoting MVPontbriand
    View Post
    My fiancee is a bartender who was working today. She checked every ID all day long (video evidence supports this) however apparently a customer who was of legal age then furnished some of the drinks to a minor who was in a back table area and not physically at the bar. The police showed up and questioned both bar tenders and took their information but did not issue any citations but indicated they could eventually. Is this correct? I told her not to speak to them again without representation. Do the bar tenders have any liability here (Ohio)?
    Ohio law appears to be an anomaly to me in who is held accountable for selling to a minor. Is it the bartender or the manager where the bartender is an agent of the manager?

    There is some interesting Ohio case law and regulations that I think make the manager the culpable party. In any event, if the bartender has no knowledge that the adult purchaser is providing a drink to a minor the bartender is not culpable.

    If you like reading case law and you have an hour to kill, read this case. It is long and a bit bizarre.

    By the weight of authority in states where the law with respect to sales to minors does not require intent or knowledge, a manager of a bar, licensed to sell intoxicating liquor to the public, is criminally responsible for a sale of intoxicating liquor to a minor child by one of his employees, whether or not he personally participates in or has knowledge of such sale, and even though the sale is made contrary to instructions given such employee. The rule is well stated in 15 Ruling Case Law, 358, Section 221, as follows:

    "* * * a licensee cannot put his clerks in his shoes, give them the benefit of the license issued to him on the confidence reposed in his moral character, and not be held responsible for their violations of law in the scope of such employment; he cannot set up his bar, receive its profits, and abdicate his duties. The duty is imposed on him that the law shall not be violated by an unlawful sale, and having put it in the power of his agent to sell, the agent acts in the principal's stead and at his peril, and 350*350 the latter cannot therefore escape responsibility because an unlawful sale was made in his absence, and in violation of his express instructions." (Emphasis supplied.)

    Partridge v. State, 88 Ark., 267, 114 S. W., 215; State v. Pigg, 78 Kan., 618, 97 P., 859; State v. Anderson, 127 La., 1041, 54 So., 344; State v. Gilmore, 80 Vt., 514, 68 A., 658; State v. Constatine, 43 Wash., 102, 86 P., 384; State v. Nichols, 67 W. Va., 659, 69 S. E., 304; State v. Kittelle, 110 N. C., 560, 15 S. E., 103; 115 A. L. R., 1230; 30 American Jurisprudence, 414 and 424; State v. Kominis, 73 Ohio App., 204, 55 N. E. (2d), 344; State v. Davis, 95 Ohio App., 23, 117 N. E. (2d), 55

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2018

    Default Re: Bartender Liability (Ohio)

    The answer probably lies within the law of Agency, Negligence (or per se), or Master-Servant, as far as the bartender is concerned, as there is no criminal Organizational liability for a sale to a minor. Although a strict liability offense, does that mean every employee on the premises is liable, as they are the eyes and ears (and noses - ha) of the Master.

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