When a former bar owner told me that I framed it as smart business, including excellence in customer service. Now, with the death of Nathan Bihlmaier, the Harvard Business School student due to graduate this Thursday, I now see that the bar owner might also have had her eye on preventing liability should the drunk cause or get into a mess. This issue hits home for me because my uncle died of the head trauma he suffered when he was wobbling home in the dark from a bar on the mean streets of my hometown Jersey City, New Jersey. He was mugged and robbed. Should my aunt have sued the bar?
The question of negligence is, of course, being raised by legal experts in relation to Bihlmaier's celebratory over-indulgence at the RiRa Irish Pub, Portland, Maine. The bar not only shut him off but shut him out. It told him to leave the premises, which he did. He wound up dead in the Portland Harbor. He may have fallen in.
That what seems like an accident could have been prevented had the bar escorted him back to his hotel, as my acquaintance did. Or the police could have been called for alleged public intoxication and he could have slept it off in a jail cell. The next day he would have been in a legal pickle but alive. In addition, there is the question of why so many drinks had been served him when it should have been obvious he was losing control?
What we do know is that ingestion of alcohol is filled with unknowns. How it will affect a person is idiosyncratic. Amount of food in the stomach, mood, genetic predisposition for a behavior change - all those figure in on if consumption of this substance will be without negative consequences or a causal agent in tragedy which could have been prevented.