Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Letter to the LMT editor calls for increased bar owner responsibility

"Donde esta mi carrucha? Hic!"

A fellow Laredoan recently expressed, via a letter to the editor, that bar owners should be held accountable when deciding whom to serve alcohol at their business(es).  Mr. Jesus Cadena wants bar owners to be taken to court if necessary whenever one of their borachines customers commits some sort of offense immediately after leaving his/her favorite watering hole.

Following is an excerpt of Mr. Cadena's letter along with a couple of reader responses. With a large numbers of WBCA events relying on alcohol to bring out the natives, Laredo has an unfortunate abundance of drunk drivers as it is.

Letter to the LMT Editor

Friends and I over-imbibed at one time or another, having two drinks in front of us besides the one in our hand. Many people could have literally crawled out of there, including some of us, but I will take the fifth on that. It would have been just a matter of time before getting caught.

How can people worry about secondhand smoke in a bar when, in essence, the real killer is in your hands? Smoking might take years to kill you. By drinking for three hours straight, the fuse has been lit, and you become a time bomb and a potential killer on the highway.

If they don’t stop after the second drink, many drinkers will go to the third, which might turn into seven or eight. That is when you either believe you can walk on water or crawl out of the bar. The bottom line is that a club is open to make money; otherwise, why stay open?

Clubs don’t pretend to be drinker-friendly bars, either. Coming out of a bar after drinking too much, your faculties are gradually deteriorating to the point where controlling a vehicle is not within your power. You become a time bomb on the highway with a killing instrument in your hands.

Bar owners should be judged side by side in court with a person accused of DWI or of causing a death after leaving their bars.The drinker is guilty for not exercising control in drinking and the bar for being cognizant of the excessive drinking and continuing to serve.

Jesus Cantu-Cadena

Prometheus responds
"Mr. Cadena, I have seen bartenders, in Laredo, refuse to serve some customers because they visibly had too much. I disagree with you and your stance that owners of clubs should be held accountable for the action of drunken customers when they leave the bar. This logic is the equal of the parents of adults who comit crimes being on trial with their adult sons and daughters and receiving punishment as well because they raised them, so they must share some fault for their childrens' shortcomings as adults. Ridiculous! There is such a thing as personal responsibility, more people need to exercise it; not blame their lack of it on some person trying to earn some cash serving drinks. "

United Longhorn responds
" Prometheus how can they be responsible if they're drunk? "


  1. It is already on the books

    In Texas there is a law known as the Texas Dram Shop Act. The Texas Dram Shop Act makes it possible someone injured by an intoxicated person to sue the provider of the alcoholic beverages. Only licensed providers, not private citizens, are subject to the Texas Dram Shop Act.

    In order to successfully bring a claim under the Texas Dram Shop Act, certain conditions must be met. First, it must have been apparent to the provider of the alcoholic beverages that the person being served was obviously intoxicated to the extent that the they presented a clear danger to themselves and others. Second, the person’s intoxication must be the immediate cause of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff.

  2. Max, what are you trying to do, kill business for local lawyers!!!!!!!! Common sense has been over-ruled by common law

  3. Hey Tom Wade, it's like your friends over at Fox News say: We report, you decide. Hence, the two-sided, fair and balanced approach just like Fox huh? Ha!

  4. BTW, thanks for the info Tom. The Dram Shop Act; I wouldn't have guessed that was the name for such a law but now we know.

  5. You know I just saw the R in Dram......

  6. JESUS CANTU CADENAOctober 7, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    The point is that i have seen people served up to eight or nine drinks and while inside they might not seem intoxicate. when they step outside and the night air hits them, they start going into a gray area. That is when the intoxication overcomes your faculties. Judging distance, delayed reaction. seeing double and judging the width of the road overcome the person. that is why most are stopped by cops for swaying from side to side. I know about the law in the books because it has already been put to the test in a death case. when you have a tab of fifty or sixty dollars, i dont think you get that by drinking cokes.