Restaurant Law Blog

Friday, June 26, 2015

Hotel & Conference Center Loses Liquor License Privileges Following Near-Fatal Parking Lot Brawl

Can a bartender or server be held liable in New York for overserving patrons, resulting in injury or death? 

New York laws and regulations are particularly stringent in protecting its citizens from the deadly effects of alcohol. From the initial licensing process, to the Dram Shop Act, there are a number of ways in which a bartender, restaurant, or other for-profit establishment can run into hot water when implementing alcohol service. Fortunately, working with an established and experienced New York restaurant and bar lawyer can help businesses protect themselves and remain aware of the evolving New York laws applicable to the issue.

New York Establishment Loses Liquor License Following Fight

In May, 2015, a Newburgh, New York restaurant and conference center found itself in the aftermath of an alcohol-fueled parking lot scuffle that not only resulted in several arrests, but led to the indefinite suspension of its privilege to serve alcohol to its guests. According to reports, police responded to several disturbance calls at the Hudson Valley Hotel and Conference Center – and arrived to find that at least one person had been stabbed following a major melee.

The State Liquor Authority slapped the establishment with nine infractions, including assault, keeping a disorderly premises, failing to ensure adequate supervision and becoming a police focal point. The hotel is likely to face substantial fines and penalties due to these violations, and may be permanently banned from legally serving alcohol. The SLA further reported that hotel staff were undeniably uncooperative, and were seen attempting to clean the area where the stabbing took place. 

The hotel has been targeted in several recent stings by law enforcement, including investigations relating to drug sales and prostitution rings. In a statement by the SLA, “[t]his licensee has demonstrated total disregard for the law and a lack of concern for the safety of their patrons.”

Under New York laws, establishments like Hudson Valley Hotel could face personal lawsuits under the state’s Dram Shop Act – which created a cause of action for any person injured as a result of the commercial over-service of alcohol.

If you are unsure of the laws relating to proper liquor service, or would like to speak to a reputable attorney about the issue, please contact the New York City liquor license attorneys at the DiPasquale Law Group today: (646)383-4607. 

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